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Montoya, Moulson lead Isles past Kings

by John Kreiser /
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Al Montoya owns his second NHL shutout and first as a New York Islander. Matt Moulson owns something even better -- bragging rights with his brother-in-law.

Montoya made 35 saves to win his first start with the Isles and Moulson scored twice against brother-in-law Jonathan Quick as New York ended the Los Angeles Kings' 11-game unbeaten streak in regulation with a 3-0 victory on Saturday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The goalie-depleted Islanders acquired Montoya from Phoenix last week. The No. 6 pick in the 2004 Entry Draft had a 3-1-0 record in four starts for the Coyotes and recorded a shutout in his NHL debut at Colorado on April 1, 2009. He got the start on Saturday after a pair of relief appearances, including one on Sunday in which he picked up the win in a 7-6 overtime victory at Buffalo -- becoming the sixth Islanders goalie to win a game this season.

At 26, Montoya knows this could be his last shot at landing a full-time NHL job. He's determined to make the most of it.

"I come out here to give this team a chance," he said. "I don't want nerves to get the best of me. I left it all on the ice, and that was my mindset coming into the game.

"I'm appreciating the chance I'm getting. Who knows when the next chance will be? You just go out there and leave it all on the ice again. This is day-to-day for me. I'm enjoying it and I'm thankful to this organization -- but at the same time, I know what I'm capable of doing. I just have to go out and do it."

Moulson got the best of Quick by scoring 6:54 into the second period to make it 2-0 and adding an insurance goal with 6:20 remaining.

"No talking today on game day," he said when asked if he'd met with Quick before the game. "We had dinner yesterday -- he wouldn't let me cook. We went to our in-laws -- neutral ground."

Moulson admitted beating his brother-in-law -- who didn't want to talk about it -- was a little special.

"I think I was a lot more nervous than usual going into the game," said Moulson, whose wife Alicia is the sister of Quick's wife Jaclyn. "I don't want to get chirped by all of our family members, so it was a little motivation, I guess."

Moulson, a former King who signed with the Isles as a free agent in the summer of 2009, has three goals in four games against Quick -- though this is the first time the Isles have beaten him.

The regulation loss was the first in 12 games for the Kings, who were 8-0-3 in their last 11 and 5-0-3 on a 10-game road trip that ends Wednesday night in Anaheim. Los Angeles started the night ranked second among four teams in a tie for the last three playoff spots.

The Islanders came into the game not having beaten the Kings anywhere since a 3-2 win at Los Angeles on Feb. 15, 2003 -- they were 0-5-1-1 in the last seven meetings -- and had lost five and tied one to the Kings on Long Island since a 1-0 win on Oct. 27, 1998.

Things didn't start well for New York when forward Kyle Okposo took the game's first penalty, a hooking call at 4:04 of the opening period. But not only did the Kings do nothing with the power play, they gave up a shorthanded goal.

Michael Grabner deflected Jack Johnson's point-to-point pass out of the zone. He couldn't control the puck well enough to start a breakaway, but did slip a pass to Frans Nielsen, who used Johnson as a screen and ripped a 45-foot wrister past Quick at 5:01 for his League-high fifth shorthanded goal.

"The first power play we get, we make a real softie pass and they jumped on it," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "That's kind of the way the whole thing went all night long -- I don't think we completed three passes in a row tonight."

Grabner nearly made it 2-0 on the same power play, but Quick stopped his breakaway bid. Moulson also came close at the 15-minute mark, beating Quick on a breakaway but ringing the left post.

But Moulson got even at 6:54 of the second, snapping a shot from just inside the right circle that just caught the far top corner for his 22nd of the season. John Tavares slid the puck out of a pile along the right boards to Moulson, who fired past Quick's blocker.

Montoya, who wasn't tested in the first period, was in the second -- and responded with a pair of big stops late in the period. He laid out to rob Justin Williams on a rebound at the 17-minute mark during a power play, then stopped Kevin Westgarth on a wide-open 15-footer from the slot after a giveaway 45 seconds later -- the toughest tests in a period that saw the Kings outshoot the Isles 17-8.

"I fell back on my back and just said 'Hallelujah,'" Montoya said of his stop on Williams, his best of the game. "I might have made a couple of saves look tough, but for the most part it was everything from the outside, letting me see everything. It's not every night that happens."

Moulson then put the game away when he outfought Matt Greene for position in the slot, took a pass from PA Parenteau and whipped a shot past Quick.

Murray had warned before the game that the Islanders could be a tough opponent because they have nothing to lose. He turned out to be prophetic.

"The Islanders right now are in a very relaxed state," Murray said of playing a team with no realistic chance to make the playoffs after a trip filled with games against contenders and playoff hopefuls. "Players are just playing, they're stretching guys out. They're leaving the zone early to look for those long passes. There's no pressure, no consequence for anything that happens. That's the easiest time in your life to play hockey -- you're just having fun.

"Give them credit for doing that. They came at us and won the game."

Despite the loss, Murray wasn't upset with the outcome of the trip.

"It was a very good trip," he said. "It could have been a great trip with a win tonight, but it was a very good trip."

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