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Kings aim for fourth straight against Islanders @NHLdotcom

KINGS (3-1-0) at ISLANDERS (0-0-3)

Season series ­-- The interconference game is the first of the season between the two. The Kings won the only meeting last season, beating the Isles 4-3 in a shootout at the Nassau Coliseum. The Kings are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings between the teams and haven't lost on Long Island since Oct. 27, 1998.

Big Story -- Before the season, the talk was that the Kings were ready to make a playoff push. If the first 10 days of the season are any indication, they are. L.A. improved to 3-1-0 in its first four games by holding off the Blues 2-1 in St. Louis on Saturday for its third consecutive win. After winning twice with offense, the Kings did it with defense against the Blues, getting a 29-save performance from Jonathan Quick -- his best performance of the young season. They'll go for four in a row against an Islanders team that's 0-0-3 after Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss in Boston.

Team Scope:

Kings -- After allowing 13 goals in their first three games, the Kings clamped down against St. Louis. It was an especially good night for the penalty-killers, who had allowed six goals even as the Kings were winning their previous two games.

''We put an emphasis on our defensive zone, blocking shots and limiting their amount of scoring chances,'' Quick said afterward. ''Our PK did great tonight, which was good to see because we've been struggling the past couple of games.''

Islanders -- Talk about a fragile team: The Islanders led the Bruins 3-0 in Boston on Saturday with just over eight minutes left in regulation. Three quick Boston goals later, the game was tied -- and after the Bruins beat Dwayne Roloson twice in the shootout, the Islanders were heading home with a stunning 4-3 loss.

The Islanders have gotten a point in all three of their games -- but lost two in shootouts and one in overtime. They've blown third-period leads in both of the shootout losses.

''If we look back at the start of the year and said to ourselves, 'We could be 3-0 with a bounce here or there,' we'd be happy with that, but it's obviously hurts to not get the two points tonight,'' Islanders coach Scott Gordon said after the loss.

Who's Hot -- The Kings' top line of Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams has 20 points in L.A.'s four games. Smyth, who played briefly with the Isles in 2006-07, scored a power-play goal on Saturday. … Tavares has 2 goals and 5 points in his first three games; he had an assist and a goal in Boston.

Injury Report -- The Kings are healthy except for rookie defenseman Alec Martinez, who's missed three games with a lower body injury. The Islanders are on the way to repeating as the NHL leaders in man-games missed due to injuries. They are still without center Frans Nielsen (knee surgery) and goalie Rick DiPietro, who's recovering from knee and hip surgeries and won't be back anytime soon. Center Doug Weight (groin) didn't play Saturday, and forward Trent Hunter will miss at least two weeks with an injured pectoral muscle.

Stat Pack -- A victory would be the 1,300th for the Kings since they entered the NHL in 1967. Of the first 1,299, 39 have come against the Islanders, against 41 losses and 12 ties.

Puck Drop -- If nothing else, Tavares has made the Islanders a lot more dangerous offensively. He's one of those players who grabs your eye whenever he's on the puck -- and the unit of Tavares, Kyle Okposo and former King Matt Moulson has been a threat to score whenever it's on the ice. The Kings, who'll be playing at 11 a.m. West Coast time (2 p.m. on Long Island) will have to pay a lot of attention to this unit.       

--John Kreiser,



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