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Kings continue road trip without Quick vs. Islanders

by John Kreiser

KINGS (11-6-1) at ISLANDERS (7-9-3)


Last 10: Los Angeles 6-3-1; New York 4-6-0

Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Islanders in less than a month; the Islanders visit Staples Center on Dec. 7. They haven't faced off since Feb. 11, 2012, when the Islanders won 2-1 in overtime at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Big story: Los Angeles and New York have unsettled situations in goal. The Kings are without starter Jonathan Quick, who flew back to L.A. on Wednesday after leaving during overtime of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday with what coach Darryl Sutter said is either hamstring or groin-related. The Islanders have started 23-year-old Kevin Poulin in back-to-back games in place of struggling No. 1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov, and coach Jack Capuano on Thursday tabbed Poulin to start again.

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles did everything right against the Sabres except win. The Kings outshot the Sabres 45-17 through overtime, but the injury to Quick with 1:20 remaining in OT forced backup Ben Scrivens to come into the game cold, and he was beaten twice in the shootout.

"We had a good chance to win," Sutter told the media Wednesday. "We score a second goal [after taking an early 1-0 lead], we do win."

The Kings called up goaltender Martin Jones from Manchester of the American Hockey League after sending Quick home. They also placed defenseman Matt Greene and forward Kyle Clifford on injured reserve and recalled forward Tanner Pearson from Manchester.

"He’s obviously not going to play on this trip," Sutter said of Quick, "so he might as well be home, and make sure we know what it is, and then go from there."

Islanders: After going 0-4-0 on a road trip last week, the Islanders looked rejuvenated on Tuesday in their return to the Coliseum. New York dominated the first 40 minutes and beat the Nashville Predators 3-1. Poulin made 32 saves in his second consecutive start, the first time this season he's started back-to-back games.

“Right now I’m playing with confidence,” Poulin said. “I’ve been playing a lot lately the past week and I feel more comfortable out there. I am seeing the puck pretty well."

A bigger concern for the Islanders is the status of captain John Tavares, who didn't skate Wednesday after banging his hip into the boards during the third period Tuesday night. Tavares was able to finish the game Tuesday, and Capuano said Thursday morning that he would go with the same lineup that played against Nashville, meaning that Tavares is in.

Who's hot: Mike Richards has three goals and six assists during a five-game points streak for Los Angeles. … Tavares has back-to-back two-point games and Frans Nielsen has four points in New York's past three games. He's in the top 10 in the NHL scoring race with 21 points in 19 games, eight fewer than he had all last season.

Injury report: In addition to Quick, Clifford (head) and Greene (undisclosed), the Kings are without center Jarret Stoll (upper body) and forward Jeff Carter (broken foot). … The Islanders have been without first-line left wing Thomas Vanek (upper body) since the first shift of their game last Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He's skating and might be able to return by the weekend. Also missing are defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body), both of whom are on injured reserve.

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