New York Islanders Highlights: Isles Struggles Continue Against Los Angeles Kings


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Islanders Highlights: Struggles Continue Against Los Angeles Kings Despite Strong Effort From Jaroslav Halak

The New York Islanders struggles continued Thursday night, as they lost to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The Islanders weren’t the only Tri-State team to fall to the Kings, as they completed a sweep of the area, defeating the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers before handling business against the Islanders Thursday. The Kings are a desperate team right now, as they are fighting for their playoff lives and the victories recently have pushed them a point ahead of the Calgary Flames.

For the Islanders, this loss continues a streak of poor play, as they have now lost six of their last seven games, including the first two of their four-game homestand. The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Islanders, as this is the second consecutive hot team they have ran into while they have been slumping.

While they haven’t been winning games, the Islanders have to be happy that Jaroslav Halak is back between the pipes as these games would be immensely more ugly if he wasn’t. He single handedly kept the Islanders in the game once again, much like Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. The Kings hammered Halak with shots early and often, outshooting the Islanders 14-5 in the opening period.

The second period must have felt like a vacation for Halak, as he faced only eight shots. Unfortunately, one got past him, as Nick Shore scored his first goal of his career. That tied the game up at one, as Frans Nielsen got the scoring started about five minutes prior, netting his 13th goal of the season.

The onslaught on Halak returned in the third period, as the Kings again outshot the Islanders badly, 15-6. They were able to capitalize on an Islanders power play, as Tyler Toffoli scored his 22nd goal of the season, this one of the shorthanded variety. The Kings lead was short-lived though, as Johnny Boychuk netted a power play goal for the Islanders shortly after, tying the game at two.

The peppering of Halak was too much to overcome though, as the Kings would again score later in the third period, as Anze Kopitar put home his 16th of the season, which proved to be the game winner. The end result was disappointing for Halak and the Islanders, but he should not be ashamed of his performance. He stopped 34 of the 37 shots the Kings attempted as he kept the Islanders in the game as well as he could.

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On the other side of the ice, Jonathan Quick essentially had a walk in the park compared to what Halak faced. Quick was only shot on 27 times, allowing the two goals.

While the Islanders are slumping, things are not going to get any easier. They will continue their homestand with another difficult game Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks, before hosting the Detroit Red Wings the next day for a very difficulty back-to-back, especially for a team playing as poorly as the Islanders.

Next: Who was the best Islander in the year 2014?

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