The New York Islanders ended their three-game trip to California with a 4-1 loss to the LA Kings on Wednesday night at STAPLES Center.
After a second-straight regulation loss, the Islanders wrapped up their California swing with an 0-2-1 record, marking their first winless, three-game trip through the Golden State since the 2010-11 season. Wednesday also marked the third straight game the Islanders had scored one goal or fewer, netting two total goals on their road trip.
"It's a really hard road trip, probably the hardest road trip of the season," Derick Brassard said. "I thought we played a really strong game against a really good team in San Jose. In Anaheim we didn't have a good game and tonight we pushed well... we just couldn't get it done. I felt like we had more committment, played harder and we just have to go back home and reset."
Brassard scored the lone goal for the Islanders on Wednesday, giving his team a 1-0 lead at 8:42 of the first period. Brassard's deflection marked the Isles' first icebreaker since Nov. 13 against Toronto, but the Kings responded with four unanswered goals to build a 4-1 margin.
Video: NYI@LAK: Brassard nets loose puck from the doorstep
The first response came quickly, as Dustin Brown beat Semyon Varlamov over the shoulder from a sharp angle at 9:46 of the first period - 64 seconds after Brassard's opener.
Jeff Carter's power-play goal put LA ahead 2-1 late in the second period, as he redirected Matt Adamio's point shot past Varlamov with 3:43 to play in the middle frame.
That forced the Islanders to play from behind, which has been a common theme over the past six games. According to Eric Hornick, the Isles have only played with the lead for 5:26 over that span, including 1:04 on Wednesday.
"It's a long year and things aren't going to go your way every single game," Ryan Pulock said. "We need to be better, but tonight I thought we put together a lot better effort than we did in Anaheim. You have ups and downs in seasons and we're in a little bit of a down here and we just have to find a way to get out of it."
The Isles couldn't find a way out in the third period, as Matt Roy made it 3-1 at 10:17, burying a knuckler from the point as the teams played four-on-four. Al Iafallo iced the game with an empty-netter with 2:07 to play.
Head Coach Barry Trotz echoed Pulock's sentiment that his team gave a better effort than in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Ducks, but is in the midst of a dry spell offensively. Pulock had a good look go off the crossbar in the first period, while Anthony Beauvillier redirected a backdoor feed from Brock Nelson wide in the second. Those pucks were going in for the Isles on their 17-game point streak, and the coach said they'll come again, as long as the Isles stick with their process.
"It's part of an 82-game schedule, you're going to go through some dry stretches," Trotz said. "Right now it's not coming easy for us. Teams are bearing down for us. We're not sneaking up on anybody. It's a dry patch that you have to work through as a group and stay positive. The guys put in a way better effort than they did in Anaheim. The score doesn't indicate that, but we did."
DOBSON IN FOR LEDDY:
Nick Leddy missed Wednesday's game with an unspecified injury, the same issue that kept him out of Tuesday's practice. With Leddy out, Noah Dobson drew back into the lineup for the first time since Nov. 7. Dobson played 13:34 with one hit and two penalty minutes.
The Islanders are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Till then, Happy Thanksgiving!