Saturday, November 13, 2010
Kings: Emperor of the Islanders
By Dan Arritt
New York Islanders (4-9-3) vs. Kings (11-3-0) at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.
Five storylines to track:
1. Quicker than a cat – Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick will get the start against the Islanders, and for good reason. Not only is he red-hot this season, owning a 9-1-0 record, but he’s 5-0 at home with four goals against and one shutout. In his career against the Islanders, he’s 3-0 with four goals against and a shutout.
2. The biggest loser– The Islanders, with the fewest points in the Eastern Conference, are just the second Kings’ opponent in the last nine with a losing record, and it has been a while since they’ve beaten Los Angeles...Feb. 15, 2003 to be exact.
3. Another donnybrook? – The Kings have been the target of some very physical play in two of their last three games, and players not accustomed to fighting have had to drop their gloves in defense of teammates. Now they're up against an irritated team that’s lost nine straight, all but one in regulation, and has the league’s clear-cut leader in penalty minutes and fighting majors, Zenon Konopka. For that reason, expect to see Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth in the lineup tonight.
4. Moulson's been golden – New York first-line left winger Matt Moulson should have plenty of motivation to play well against Los Angeles. The Kings never really gave him of a chance to display his scoring touch during his two-year stay, playing in just 29 games before signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Islanders in the summer of 2009. He showed his worth by scoring 30 goals last season is currently tied for the team lead with six.
5. Carrying his weight – The long, distinguished career of Doug Weight was in doubt after he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last March, but the 39-year-old left wing continues to plug along, owning nine points in 16 games while playing on New York’s fourth line. He has played especially well against the Kings in his 20-year career, totaling 73 points in 64 games.