Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 19 @ NY Islanders
November 14, 2013
4pm PST (7pm EST)
After falling in Buffalo on Tuesday night to give the Sabres their first home win on the year, the Los Angeles Kings look to rebound on Thursday when they visit Nassau County to take on the New York Islanders.
While the Kings are looking to get back in the win column, the will have to do so without the services of Jonathan Quick who left the game during overtime on Tuesday with what is believed to be an injury to either the hamstring or the groin. Until the official diagnosis is released, the injury is one of the all-too-vague lower-body variety – and Quick has been sent back to Los Angeles for further evaluation.
But with Quick done for his team’s road trip, the Kings have called up Martin Jones from Manchester. So far this season, the 22-year-old netminder has gone 9-2-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average. Of course, how that success will translate to the NHL may not be seen just yet as Ben Scrivens will most likely get the start versus the Isles.
In terms of head-to-head matchups, Thursday will mark the first of two meeting between the Kings and Isles with their last meeting coming way back on February 11, 2012 when Los Angeles fell 2-1 in overtime.
The significance of said game was the NHL debut of Jordan Nolan and the recalling of Dwight King who since that night, were not sent back down to the AHL but instead helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup that spring.
I point that out because in addition to Jones, the Kings called up forward Tanner Pearson to fill some of the voids left by injuries. Perhaps Pearson, who may be paired up with recent callups Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey, will celebrate the same fate. Then again, there’s no sense getting ahead of ourselves.
While Los Angeles’s goaltending situation is up in the air, the same can be said for the Islanders who have started rookie Kevin Poulin in back-to-back games after the team’s No. 1 netminder, Evgeni Nabokov, found himself struggling lately. While a decision on who to start has yet to be made by the Isles, perhaps a date with a former Pacific rival will do the Russia, errr Kazakhastian, some good.
At 7-9-3, the Islanders hope their opponent’s loss in Buffalo is only a sign of things to come. But they will most likely have win without the services of Tomas Vanek, Brian Strait and former King Lubomir Visnovsky, all of whom are injured.
During a five-game point streak for the Kings, Mike Richards has three goals and six assists while his line with the aforementioned Toffoli and King have been very productive over the last couple games. Assuming they don’t get broken up, the trio will look to make their mark again on Thursday.
For the Isles, John Tavares is coming off back-to-back two-point nights while Frans Nielsen has four points in his last three outings.
Lastly, while the effort is unquestionably there, the Kings will need to make more of their shooting chances and get some end results. Hopefully their date on Thursday will help them do just that.
It’s a battle of two teams hungry for momentum. We’ll see which one comes out on top.
Enjoy the game!