Kings’ Martin Jones Shuts Down Islanders 3-0 On Throwback Jersey Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Martin Jones made 16 saves to earn his first NHL shutout in his second career start, and Anze Kopitar scored in the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-0 victory over the skidding New York Islanders on Saturday night.
Dustin Brown also scored and Tyler Toffoli added an empty-net goal for the Kings, who won their third straight and have earned a point in 14 of 15 games since Nov. 2.
Jones followed up his victory over Anaheim in his NHL debut with a perfect effort against the Islanders, who have lost nine in a row.
Kevin Poulin stopped 21 shots for the Islanders, on their longest losing streak since dropping a franchise-record 14 straight in late 2010.
New York has lost nine straight road games since Nov. 1, getting outscored 38-14 during its longest road skid since 1998-99.
Jones was solid in his second straight appearance in the Kings’ crease, easily handling most of the Islanders’ decent scoring chances. The longtime AHL goalie got his NHL career off to a strong start last Tuesday, beating the Ducks 3-2 in overtime with nine stops in a flawless shootout.
Jones spent the previous three weeks backing up Ben Scrivens during Jonathan Quick’s absence with a long-term groin injury, but has capitalized on a chance to challenge Scrivens for playing time.
After a scoreless first period, Islanders captain John Tavares set up his teammates for a pair of great scoring chances during second-period power plays, but Thomas Vanek and Brock Nelson both failed to capitalize. Josh Bailey missed his own chance, clanging a backhand off the crossbar on a near-breakaway.
Kopitar finally got the Kings on the board thanks to an exceptional long pass from Alec Martinez, who found his Slovenian teammate lightly marked at the far blue line. Kopitar slipped into the slot and used a slick move to score his eighth goal. The Kings’ perennial leading scorer has 20 points in the last 22 games.
Brown added his sixth goal midway through the third period, capitalizing on confusion behind Poulin to gather the puck for an easy wraparound score. The Kings’ captain is having a rough offensive season, but has scored goals in consecutive games for the first time since late March.
NOTES: New York dressed rookie C Nelson and scratched C Peter Regin, who had missed just one game all season. Regin is scoreless in his last 17 games. Poulin made his first start in a week after Anders Nilsson played the Isles’ last three games. … Los Angeles wore its purple-and-gold throwback jerseys on a “Legends Night” honoring Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy, who set NHL records for most assists and points by a rookie defenseman with the Kings in 1981. Murphy spent his first three NHL seasons in Los Angeles before moving to Washington early in the 1983-84 season in an ill-advised trade. … The Kings open a four-game trip Tuesday in Montreal. … New York has lost on the first two stops of its five-game West Coast road swing.