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Doughty's shorthanded goal lifts Kings past Islanders

Los Angeles extends point streak to five

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Drew Doughty scored shorthanded for his second straight game-winning goal and the Los Angeles Kings extended their point streak to five with a 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders at Staples Center on Sunday.

Jake Muzzin scored a power-play goal and Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings (4-0-1). Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves in his first start after playing five seasons for the Minnesota Wild.

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Kings highlights]

 

With nine of a possible 10 points, the Kings are off to the best start in their history. 

Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey scored for New York (2-3-1). Andrew Ladd got his 500th NHL career point, and Mathew Barzal got his first. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves.

Doughty gave the Kings a 3-1 lead while shorthanded at 5:44 of the third period, finishing off Kopitar's pass on a 2-on-1 break despite not knowing where the puck was.

Video: NYI@LAK: Kopitar opens scoring on lucky deflection

"Luckily I saw it at the last second and tried to get some wood on it," said Doughty, who had a goal and assist for the second straight game. "Great pass by [Kopitar]. You expect him to do that every game and he never disappoints."

Cizikas stuck with his wraparound shot and eventually scored with 5:37 remaining in the third period, but Kuemper made two saves in the final 35 seconds to preserve the win.

Islanders center John Tavares had a low-angle shot into an empty net with 22 seconds remaining, but the puck sailed through the crease. Tavares has two goals and one assist in six games.

"They're counting on me to produce and I haven't done that as consistently to start the season as I would like," Tavares said. "I definitely expect more of myself, especially when I get those chances."

Muzzin gave the Kings a 2-1 lead when he scored his first goal of the season at 11:32 of the second period. Halak was screened by Tanner Pearson on the play.

Kings forward Alex Iafallo kept the play alive after Halak stopped Muzzin's earlier shot when the rookie used several aggressive taps with his stick to keep Halak from covering the puck. The Kings were able to reset and eventually score their fourth goal in their past six chances with the man-advantage in sweeping their first set of back-to-back games.

Video: NYI@LAK: Cizikas pokes puck in at the side of the net

"It wasn't that long ago we were talking about our power play and lack of production," Kings coach John Stevens said.

The Islanders were aggressive to start the second period and finally scored on Bailey's shot while falling to his knees at 8:56. Kuemper had a chance to clear the puck, but was indecisive on where to play it with his stick. Barzal, a first-round pick (No. 16) at the 2015 NHL Draft, had an assist for his first point.

Kopitar was credited with his fourth goal after Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech stuck out his stick trying to break up a pass for a hard-charging Dustin Brown. Instead, Pelech redirected the puck between Halak's legs to give the Kings a 1-0 lead at 12:44 of the first.

 

Goal of the game

Muzzin might not seem like a staple on the power play, but 14 of his 40 NHL career goals have come with the man-advantage. He has a big shot, and Pearson's pestering presence in front of net made it that much more dangerous.

Video: NYI@LAK: Muzzin nets wrist shot on power play

 

Save of the game

Kuemper capped off his performance with saves against Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle in a span of 11 seconds, then benefitted from a little luck when Tavares whiffed on an open chance.

 

Highlight of the game

Doughty's second NHL career shorthanded goal was as much a testament to the resurgent play of Brown and Kopitar. Brown pressured Joshua Ho-Sang into a bad pass that was easily picked off by Kopitar for a 2-on-1 break the other way.

Video: NYI@LAK: Doughty taps in Kopitar's pass for SHG

 

They said it

"We have to play like we did in the second period. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit by taking a couple penalties right in the midst of really tilting the ice, pouring lines on them. They were dog-tired." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight

 

"We go as they go, and you always want your best players being your best players. I think they have been tremendous on both sides of the puck." -- Kings coach John Stevens on forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown

 

Need to know

The Islanders are 0-for-20 on the power play this season and have already allowed three shorthanded goals. … Brown's assist extended his point streak to four games (four goals, three assists). … Kopitar has a goal and an assist in three of his past four games, and has a point in each of those four games (four goals, four assists).

 

What's next

Islanders: At the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Doughty, Kopitar lead Kings past Islanders, 3-2

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