This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Kings Drown Islanders 5-1
There were to be no excuses for the Kings. They were supposed to win this game being one of the elite teams in the NHL facing the New York Islanders - one of the worst. And they did exactly what was expected of them by burying the Islanders 5-1 in front of yet another sell-out STAPLES Center crowd.
“It’s kind of hard to get into these types of games because you’re expected to win,” Anze Kopitar said.
Despite the modesty, Kopitar helped to put the game away in the first five minutes clogging up the front of the net to give the Kings the 2-0 lead and earning his 299th and 300th point in the NHL. Kopitar redirected Dustin Brown’s right-point shot at 1:23 and fought with the falling Islanders’ players to get the puck past goalie Dwayne Roloson at 5:02 on Drew Doughty’s entry shot from the right point.
It forced Islanders’ head coach Scott Gordon to use up his timeout - and it seemed to work when Rob Schremp scored 37 seconds later to cut the Kings’ lead to 2-1. And from that point on in the first period the Kings seemed content to ride out the lead for the remaining 55 minutes.
But they came out in the second period with more intensity. After Ryan Smyth from the red line passed the puck to Jack Johnson on the blue line, he shot the puck up the middle through traffic with the puck ending up on Justin Williams’ stick for the goal at 3:15, extending his point streak to nine games.
“Having great linemates,” Williams said trying to explain his scoring streak. “As a line we’re creating a lot. Ryan hasn’t scored in a while, but he’s doing everything right for his linemates: myself and Jarret [Stoll]. We’re working hard for each other every time we’re out there.”
The Kings closed out the game with a strong third period that was punctuated by Brown getting tripped up on a breakaway by Matt Martin at 7:46 setting up the Kings’ 44th penalty shot. With a little deke in front the crease, Brown got the puck past Roloson.
“I had a plan at center, then I switched around the blue line,” Brown joked. “I have three moves that I do, two come off of that move to the right. I just pulled a [Kopitar] and slid it five-hole.”
And Drew Doughty finally got on the right side of the ledger scoring his first goal on a power-play at 15:26.
“By no means was it an easy game,” Kopitar continued in his modesty. “Maybe it seemed like that and maybe the score shows it, but they battled hard.”
The big story for the Kings has been their penalty-kill that killed off five more penalties. That put the tally to 31-of-31 penalties killed by the Kings at home this season - the lone team to have a perfect home penalty kill. They have also killed 22 straight penalties.
“The guys have a lot of pride in it,” head coach Terry Murray said about the Kings’ penalty-killing prowess. “It’s hard work. It’s execution, but there’s a lot of pride in it. When you start sliding, blocking shots, sacrificing yourself, reading and doing the right things, it’s a lot of commitment.”
The Kings are also the only team to be undefeated in regulation, overtime and the shootout in the NHL going 8-0-0.