NEW YORK ISLANDERS (8-5-3) VS. LOS ANGELES KINGS (9-6-0)
10:30 P.M. STAPLES CENTER, MSG, CHANNEL FINDER, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM
1. Tavares: John Tavares scored the Islanders’ first and last goals in a 4-2 win over the Sharks. Tavares’ two-goal effort busted the Islanders captain out of a five-game point drought. Tavares leads the Islanders with seven goals and 13 points.
2. California Love: The Islanders started their California road trip on the right foot Tuesday, beating the San Jose Sharks 4-2. The Islanders' win was their first regulation win in Northern California in 13 seasons and also marked the first time the Isles swept the Sharks since 1995-96. Last season, the Islanders completed the SoCal sweep, beating the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks in back-to-back games.
3. Boychuk: Johnny Boychuk scored for the second straight game Tuesday, marking the first time in his career the defenseman had goals in back-to-back games.
4. Who’s in goal? 5. LA Kings:
With back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, expect to see some sort of split in the Islanders’ crease. Jaroslav Halak is a lock to play one of the two games, but which game and who will play the other are up in the air. Thomas Greiss made 34 saves in Tuesday’s win, but don’t rule out the possibility of Jean-Francois Berube playing either. Berube was a part of the LA Kings system, winning a Calder Cup with AHL Manchester last season, and Capuano has set a precedent of playing his backup goalies against their former teams.
After a slow start to the season, the Kings rattled off seven straight wins to move up the Pacific Division standings, sitting second to Vancouver. The Kings are stingy defensively, allowing the fewest goals (32) in the division, and second fewest in the Western Conference, trailing only St. Louis. Jeff Carter leads the Kings with 15 points, while Tyler Toffoli’s 10 goals are tied for the league lead. Toffoli should surpass his career-high of 23 goals and has three points (1G, 2A) in his last two games.