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Rapid Reaction: Kings a Royal Pain, Defeat Islanders 5-2

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New York Islanders

After a strong showing against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday despite a 4-3 shootout loss, the New York Islanders came out flat against the Los Angeles Kings as they fell by a score of 5-2. The Islanders move to 19-21-8 on the season, 9-11-4 on the road.

How it Happened

Phillip Danault gave the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 lead under four minutes into the first period. Tyler Moore found Danault all alone for a tap-in, for his 15th of the season. Moore and Tobias Bjornfot were credited with the assists.

Matt Roy made it 2-0 LA, as no one saw him creep below the left circle. Anze Kopitar found him all alone for his first of the season at 7:51 of the first period. Kopitar and Aaron Iafallo were credited with the assists.

Semyon Varlamov watched the puck deflect twice off two teammates before beating him through the wickets as the Los Angles Kings took a 3-0 lead less than a minute into the second period. Quinton Byfield was credited with his second career NHL goal.

Anders Lee got the Islanders on the board at 9:47 of the second period as Noah Dobson found him all alone for a tap-in. Lee’s 14th of the season was assisted by Dobson and Mathew Barzal.

The Kings regained their three-goal lead with just 28 seconds remaining in the second period. Brendan Lemieux scored his eighth of the season on an odd-man rush, as he beat Varlamov five-hole. Arthur Kaliyev and Aaron Iafallo were credited with the assists.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau cleaned up a rebound to make it a 4-2 game with 1:16 to go in the third. Noah Dobson and Sebastian Aho with the assists on Pageau’s eight of the season.

Trevor Moore scored on the empty net with 17 seconds to play in the third period to make it 5-2.  Victor Arvidsson was credited with the lone assist.

Stefen’s Two Cents

The New York Islanders were not ready when the puck was dropped at Crypto.com Arena and there is no excuse for that. The Los Angeles Kings were playing their second game in as many nights but had all the energy in the first period.

The Islanders failed to keep up with the Kings mentally and physically as Semyon Varlamov, in his first start since Feb. 2, was given zero support.

The fact that the Islanders were only down 2-0 after the first period was surprising.

The second period did not show much improvement as not only did the Islanders allow two more goals, one Varlamov would want back and the other off a 2 on 1 with 28 seconds, Mathew Barzal was injured. His ankle was bent the wrong way and although he returned from the locker room for a shift, it was clear that he was not comfortable. He was back in the locker room right after and did not return.

Zdeno Chara also left the Islanders bench in the second and did not return.

The Islanders rewarded the Los Angeles Kings with five power-play chance and despite killing all of them off, that is not a recipe for success, especially against strong opponents.

After how well the Islanders played against the San Jose Sharks, despite the 4-3 shootout loss, this game was a major letdown. The Los Angeles Kings are a very good hockey team but the Islanders made it a bit too easy for Los Angeles from the start.

Game Notes

Josh Bailey was a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game as New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz kept the same lineup from Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

Semyon Varlamov made his first start since Feb. 2.

WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders are in Anaheim to face the Ducks Sunday night at 8:30 PM ET

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