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Rapid Recap: Islanders Lose Special Teams Battle, Fall 5-2 to Kings

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New York Islanders

LOS ANGELES — It was a strong start for the New York Islanders, but an undisciplined penalty early in the second period, along with lackluster power plays, led to a  4-2 win for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

The Islanders head into their Wednesday night matchup against the Anaheim Ducks with a 34-37-8 record. Everyone behind the Islanders in the wild-card race lost, while the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding the top wild-card spot, also lost.

LINES:

Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Josh Bailey
Zach Parise-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Pierre Engvall-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

RAPID RECAP

After a slow start, shot-wise, the New York Islanders scored first against the Los Angeles Kings.

At 11:45 of the first, Pierre Engvall scored his second goal in as many games, his 14th of the season, as he beat Kings netminder Joonas Korpisalo off the glove and in for his 14th of the season. Ryan Pulock made the play happen as he kept the puck in front of him in the neutral zone before chipping the puck to Engvall in stride.

The Islanders used the Engvall goal as momentum, despite not scoring for the rest of the period.

All four lines played smart, structured hockey, while Ilya Sorokin shined, stopping all 14 shots that came his way. The Islanders fourth line caused trouble on each shift. There were a few areas to clean up, like the front of the net.

The second period, however, did not mimic the first as New York shot themselves in the foot by taking two penalties, leading to two power-play goals for the Kings. Matt Martin was given an unsportsmanlike penalty for throwing Rasmus Kupari’s helmet toward the penalty box, where he was heading.

“I saw him (Martin) direct his helmet toward the penalty box. So the referees saw it one way, and that’s the way it went,” Lambert said.

When asked if Martin needs to be more disciplined:

“I don’t think you can throw somebody’s helmet.”

Martin shared that Kupari punched Romano

Moments later, Zach Parise took a tripping penalty, and the Kings went to work.

Drew Doughty rifled home a one-timer at 6:06 of the second before Alex Iafallo put home a rebound exactly a minute later.

But the Kings weren’t done as Kyle Palmieri failed to clear the puck out of his own zone, and Trevor Moore sniped Sorokin blocker side to make it a 4-1 game with 7:46 to go in the middle frame.

The Islanders did get an answer with under three minutes to play as Jean-Gabriel Pageau, in his return to the lineup, redirected a Sebastian Aho shot for his 11th of the season to cut the Kings lead to 4-2 heading into the third.

The Islanders did get a power play early in the third, but both units failed to produce a shot on goal.

However, the Kings gave the Islanders a valuable opportunity late, as with 3:02 to play, Quinton Byfield sent the puck over the glass and headed to the box. Islanders head coach Lane Lambert elected not to pull Sorokin initially but did so shortly after.

The Islanders only mustered one shot, and Byfield scored the empty-net goal out of the box, as the Kings won 5-2.

The Islanders failed to score on their three power-play chances, giving up two in the loss.

“I didn’t think our power play was very good in the third period,” Lambert said. “We have to be better than that. There’s no way we can accept that.”

WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders head to the Honda Center as they face the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night at 10 PM ET

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