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Kings pull away late to defeat Islanders

Los Angeles breaks tie in third period with three goals in 44 seconds

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings scored three goals in 44 seconds and Peter Budaj made 22 saves in a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders at Staples Center on Wednesday. 

Dwight King broke a 1-1 tie with 2:34 left and scored again 35 seconds later. Jake Muzzin made it 4-1 with an empty-net goal.

 

WATCH: All Islanders vs. Kings highlights

 

Alec Martinez scored for Los Angeles (11-9-1) in the first period. The Kings are 5-0-0 when leading after the first period and extended their win streak to a season-high four games. 

"We've been streaking in both directions so far this season," said Kings captain Anze Kopitar, who returned to the lineup after sitting out the past five games because of an upper body injury. "We're on the right path now. We're just playing our style of hockey, and that definitely helps. We kept it pretty tight for the last three or four games now, and that's definitely paid off." 

Anders Lee scored twice for New York (6-9-4). Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves. The Islanders have allowed a game-tying or deciding goal within the final three minutes seven times this season.

Video: NYI@LAK: King buries Lewis' feed to pad lead

"It's frustrating because that's probably one of the best games we played in this building and we can't get any results," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "You just have to find a way to kill one at the end."

Martinez scored at 15:34 of the first period, beating Halak from the point to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. 

The Islanders responded in the third when Lee scored his first goal in 15 games at 4:27. 

"It was nice to get a bounce," Lee said. "To tie it up in the third period was huge for us and it gave us a chance at the end."

But New York was undone with a late hooking penalty against defenseman Nick Leddy. The Islanders killed it off at 15:06, but King scored one second later when he redirected Derek Forbort's slap shot past Halak. 

Things quickly unraveled and King scored again with a backhand shot at 17:32 to make it 3-1 and Muzzin scored an empty-net goal at 17:41.   

Lee made it 4-2 with 1:52 remaining.

"It's just the way the year has gone as far as the penalty kill," Capuano said. "It just seems like pucks have eyes and are going in the back of the net right now."

 

Goal of the game

Trevor Lewis tipped Forbort's slap shot to King, who tipped it past Halak for the game-winner. 

Video: NYI@LAK: King deflects Forbort's shot for late lead

 

Save of the game

Islanders captain John Tavares came within inches of tying the game in the second period. He took a feed off the end boards and one-timed it from point-blank range, but Budaj got his shoulder on the shot. 

Video: NYI@LAK: Budaj denies Tavares' one-timer

 

Unsung moment of the game

Knowing the penalty was about to expire, Forbort wanted to make sure he got one more shot on net before Leddy came out of the box. His slap shot from the point found enough traffic in front of the net to get deflections from Lewis and King. "That's all I was trying to do -- get it to the net and hopefully create a scoring opportunity," Forbort said.

 

Highlight of the game

Leddy's point shot rattled around in traffic, but Lee found it between Greene's skates and shot it between the defenseman's legs backwards while falling over. 

Video: NYI@LAK: Lee nets a backhand while falling to the ice

 

They said it

"It's a chip play to speed. [Lewis] makes contact, (Nick) Shore puts it back to Forbort, Forbort's supposed to get it through the net. Somebody's supposed to get in front of the net. Tic, tac, toe, put your arms in the air." -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter on King's game-winner

 

"It's one of the toughest back-to-backs in the League, just coming in here against a big strong team. They do a good job of clearing out in front of their net, and trying to close your time and space entering their zone. We seemed to have gotten going more and more as the game went on, especially in the third. It was a tight game." -- Islanders captain John Tavares

 

Need to know

Islander forward Cal Clutterbuck skated in warm-ups but did not play because of an upper-body injury. … Three goals in 44 seconds was three seconds shy of tying the Kings record set March 2, 1989, when Steve Duchesne had two goals and Wayne Gretzky scored once in a span of 41 seconds. … The Kings won their 1600th game in franchise history. … Greene played in his 600th game. … Los Angeles extended its franchise-long home point streak against the Islanders to seven games (6-0-1). 

 

What's next

Islanders: At the San Jose Sharks on Friday (4 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, PRIME, NHL.TV

 

Video: King leads Kings to fifth consecutive win over Isles

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