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At the Rink: Islanders at Kings

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams will see his streak of 225 consecutive games end Thursday after coach Darryl Sutter ruled Williams out for the game against the New York Islanders at Staples Center.

Williams has not skated since he was struck near the eye by Brendan Dillon of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. He has blurred vision and swelling, and told reporters Wednesday that there is a little scratch on the cornea. His consecutive games played streak is the longest among current Kings.

"[He'll] get better every day, and when he's ready to play, he'll play," Sutter said.

Right wing Jordan Nolan skated in Williams' place on the top line with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Marian Gaborik. Nolan is coming off a two-game suspension for boarding Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings.

The Kings will look to Nolan and others to make up for the absence of Williams and provide more balanced scoring. The line of left wing Tanner Pearson, center Jeff Carter and right wing Tyler Toffoli has scored 18 of the Kings' 30 goals this season.

"That's a no-brainer," center Jarret Stoll said. "Any good team has good depth and scoring throughout. When you have just one line going, eventually a team is going to shut down that line or shut down a couple of players, and if you don't have depth or guys scoring goals, you're probably not going to win."

The Kings just completed a 1-3-1 road trip and look for their seventh straight win at home, but Stoll put a caveat on their home success. They have outscored opponents 19-5 in regulation or overtime in six straight home wins, but half of those wins came against teams that are below .500.

"We haven't played well at home, to be honest," Stoll said. "We've got some lucky bounces and some good breaks at home, but we know we've got to be a lot better on this homestand. Sometimes you win games you should lose, and sometimes it's the other way around. We've got to be a lot better as a team."

Here are the expected lineups.


Nikolay KuleminJohn TavaresKyle Okposo

Mikhail GrabovskiFrans NielsenCal Clutterbuck

Anders LeeBrock NelsonRyan Strome

Matt MartinCasey CizikasEric Boulton

Nick LeddyJohnny Boychuk

Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky

Calvin de HaanTravis Hamonic

Chad Johnson

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Cory Conacher, Matt Donovan, Brian Strait

Injured: Josh Bailey (hand), Matt Carkner (back), Michael Grabner (lower body)


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarJordan Nolan

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dwight KingMike RichardsDustin Brown

Kyle CliffordJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Robyn RegehrAlec Martinez

Brayden McNabbMatt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Andy Andreoff

Injured: Justin Williams (eye)

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Status report: Quick was off the ice first. … Johnson is expected to start for the Islanders after Jaroslav Halak played Wednesday. The Islanders reportedly mixed up their lines, and Cizikas will go back into the lineup in place of Cory Conacher.

Who's hot: Lewis and Richards each have a goal and two assists in their past three games. Brown got his second goal of the season Tuesday. … Tavares is coming off a two-goal game and recorded his fifth career overtime goal Wednesday and first overtime goal since Jan. 21, 2012. He also has four power-play goals. Okposo had his fourth multipoint game of the season and is tied for the team lead in points (14).

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