Los Angeles Hockey: Matt Moulson

Kings: Running out of patience in New York

February, 10, 2012
Kings (26-19-10, 62 points) vs. New York Islanders (22-23-8, 52 points) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 10 a.m. PT

Five storylines to track:

1. New look lines – After a bad loss Thursday night against the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla., Kings coach Darryl Sutter brought out the salt shaker during practice Friday and jumbled some forward lines. The No. 1 group of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams remained intact, but the second line had a pair of rookies, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, skating side saddle with center Mike Richards. King and Nolan were called up from the minors earlier in the day and are expected to make their season debuts against the Islanders. For Nolan, whose father, Ted Nolan, coached the Islanders for two seasons from 2006 to '08, he will be making his NHL debut.

2. Penner demoted – Kings left wing Dustin Penner appears to be the biggest loser from Friday’s shake up. He spent practice on the fourth line with four other players, none of whom sport a 30-goal season on their resume as Penner does. He was partly responsible for the second goal that gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the second period, then was benched for half of the third. Penner is in a contract year but hasn't been playing like it, scoring only five goals this season, spending two stints on injured reserve and missing another game for his infamous back spasms while eating pancakes the morning before a game. Don’t be surprised if Penner and his $4.25-million salary watches this game from the press box.

3. Stoll sidelinedAs was reported Friday, the Kings will be without Jarret Stoll for at least a week because of a hip injury suffered in the third period against Florida. Rookie defenseman Slava Voynov was also sent back to Manchester for the purpose of freeing up a roster spot for King and Nolan. Voynov should be back when teams can expand their rosters following the trade deadline at the end of this month. Where the Kings will miss Stoll the most is in the face-off circle. Stoll is second best on the team in the number of draws won (465) and 15thin the league. This will undoubtedly put more pressure on Kopitar and Richards to win more than their share of drops.

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Kings: Islanders put an end to run

February, 19, 2011
New York Islanders 3, Kings 0

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: The Kings played as if they had one foot already on the plane, posing no threat against the struggling Islanders in their final game outside Southern California on the season-long 10-game road swing.

THE STAT: The Kings were attempting to set a franchise record with points in 12 straight games, but they never got it going against the Islanders.

TURNING POINT: The Kings looked out of it right from the start, giving up a short-handed goal just five minutes into the game. Jack Johnson’s pass was tipped to rookie Michael Grabner, who passed ahead to Franz Nielsen for the winning goal.

HOT: Ex-King Matt Moulson scored two goals for the Islanders, giving him 23 on the season, three more than the Kings’ leader.

NOT: Anze Kopitar was the only player on the ice for all three of New York’s goals. He also took a team-high five shots on goal but failed to earn a point for the first time in five games.

GOOD MOVE: Moulson, the brother-in-law of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, put Los Angeles down two goals for the first time since Jan. 20. He collected a pass from PA Parenteau and somehow got his shot around Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi and past Quick for a 2-0 lead with 13:06 left in the second period.

BAD MOVE: Kings coach Terry Murray elected to tag rookie forward Andrei Loktionov as a healthy scratch and play enforcer Kevin Westgarth, even though Loktionov had three points in the last four games. Could the move be a ploy to ready Loktionov for a return to the minors when Marco Sturm comes back from tendinitis in his knee? Regardless, the Kings missed Loktionov’s productivity potential.

NOTABLE: The Islanders recorded their second shutout of the season and goalie Al Montoya his first since April 2009.

UP NEXT: at Anaheim, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Kings: Emperor of the Islanders

November, 13, 2010
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.