The Upshot: Islanders west coast trip starts with a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings

Mar 14, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Alex Iafallo (19) celebrates
Mar 14, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Alex Iafallo (19) celebrates / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Kings improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven games with a 5-2 win over the New York slanders at Arena on Tuesday night. The Kings scored four goals in the second period, including power-play goals from Drew Doughty and Alex Iafallo. Blake Lizotte and Quinton Byfield also scored for the Kings (39-20-9), who got 26 saves from Joonas Korpisalo, now 3-0 since being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Pierre Engvall scored in his second consecutive game for the Islanders (24-27-8), and JG Pageau scored in his first game back after missing 12 games. Ilya Sorokin made 32 saves in the loss.


Jean-Gabriel Pageau made his return to the Islanders’ lineup on Tuesday night against the Kings at Arena after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury. Pageau centered the third line with Pierre Engvall and Hudson Fasching and got extensive work on the power play and penalty kill.

"I thought he was okay," Lambert said of Pageau’s game. "He hasn't taken a face-off for a while, so there's maybe a little rust from that standpoint, but I think that the chemistry was fine with him in Pierre. He played 13:39 and scored a goal late in the second period that made it a 4-2 game heading into the third. "It's definitely good to help the team offensively," Pageau said. "We also gave up two when I was on the ice, so obviously I'm not happy about my game. I'll look myself in the mirror and I think I have better, so I will be better tomorrow."


With the game tied 1-1, Matt Martin was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty when he tossed a Kings helmet toward the penalty box at the end of the scrum. This gave the Kings a power play and things got worse when Zach Parise was called for a penalty early in the kill setting up a long 5-on-3 power play. The Kings scored both with the two man advantage and then again at 5-on-4 to take a 3-1 lead and the control of the game.

“Romy’s got a face shield on for a reason and the guy punched him in the face, so I went in there and ended up with the extra [penalty],” Martin said. “I was just throwing [the helmet] to the penalty box because I knew people would be going there and he would be one of them. But I didn’t really think anything of it. It wasn’t a show-boaty thing. I didn’t slam it or anything. I never got the explanation, so I don’t know what the call is.”


Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Matt Martin played in his 753rd game for the Islanders, passing Mike Bossy for 7th place. The Isles allowed 2 power-play goals for the first time since February 9th. They have faced eight 5-on-3s this season, allowing four goals. It was the 8th career goal for Quinton Byfield, and three of them have been against the Isles.


Bridgeport play-by-play man Alan Fuehring was on the call last night, handling the game from the MSG Network studios alongside Butch Goring. With the 10:30pm, what better way to prepare for a late night of Isles-Kings than the Lamplighter Blend from Kings Coffee.


It's a quick California turnaround for the Islanders as they are back on the ice tonight as they travel to Anaheim to take on the Ducks. Face off is scheduled for 10:00 PM ET