National Hockey League
Kings-Islanders Preview
National Hockey League

Kings-Islanders Preview

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 12:52 a.m. ET

The Los Angeles Kings kicked off a seven-game trip by scoring more goals in a road game than they had in nearly 23 years.

They might like their chances of winning again if they get to face the New York Islanders' Jaroslav Halak.

Halak has dropped eight straight starts against Los Angeles and is likely to get the nod Thursday night when his Islanders try to slow down the red-hot Kings' power play.

Los Angeles (31-17-3) had nine players score in Tuesday's 9-2 rout of Boston, posting its highest goal total on the road since a 9-3 win over Detroit on March 29, 1993.


''I don't think I've ever been with the Kings when they've got nine goals,'' said eighth-year defenseman Drew Doughty, who leads the NHL with 33.7 shifts per game. ''It was fun, a lot of fun.''

Jeff Carter ended an eight-game goal drought and Anze Kopitar added an assist to give him seven in a five-game streak.

Carter, Doughty and Luke Schenn scored on the power play as Los Angeles went 3 for 3 to give it a 7-for-12 mark in the last three games. The Kings are at 23.4 percent, third in the NHL.

New York (28-18-6) is a formidable penalty killing team at 86.8 percent, second overall. Halak made 29 saves in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout victory at Columbus to end a three-start slide in which he allowed 10 goals.

The worst effort in that span was Saturday's 5-1 road defeat to the Red Wings in which he was replaced in the second period after giving up four goals on 13 shots.

"It's always frustrating to lose the game and being pulled even more frustrating," Halak said. "But it's only one game and we've got a lot of games left and whatever happens that night, you just have to forget about it and try to focus on the next game."

Halak began his career with five straight wins over the Kings, but has gone 0-6-2 with a 3.07 goals-against average in his last eight starts against them. That includes a 2-1 defeat Nov. 12 in which Milan Lucic put Los Angeles ahead for good with a second-period tally.

Lucic was happy to put Tuesday behind him after an emotional return to Boston, where he played eight seasons and was honored with a video tribute.

''As much as I was looking at this game, I'm glad it's finally over so I can stop thinking about it and thinking about the rest of the road trip and all those type of things,'' Lucic said.

Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in his 28th victory after getting pulled in the second period of his previous outing last Thursday, when he stopped six of nine shots in a 4-2 loss to Anaheim.

The Islanders' Kyle Okposo and John Tavares are on three-game point streaks, with six points for Okposo and five for Tavares.

These teams lead the NHL in hits per game, with New York averaging 30.3 and Los Angeles 29.3. Islanders winger Matt Martin is averaging a league-high 4.9 while Lucic tops the Kings at 3.5.


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