Quick-striking Kings take down Islanders 3-2

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Los Angeles Kings right wing Gabriel Vilardi (13) is congratulated after scoring against the New York Islanders during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

ELMONT — The Los Angeles Kings needed just 5:34 to undo the New York Islanders and bring their two-game win streak to a screeching halt in a 3-2 result at UBS Arena on Friday night.

Phillip Danault, Arthur Kaliyev, and Gabriel Vilardi scored in quick succession between the 6:30 and 12:14 marks of the second period to properly reflect their dominance over the Islanders, who were outshot 28-18.

“They got some momentum and we made a couple of mistakes,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “I’ll give them credit tonight. They played well, were structurally good, and they made it very difficult for us on the forecheck.”

After outshooting the Islanders (30-25-7) 12-5 in the first period, the Kings found their breakthrough 6:40 into the second period when a Viktor Arvidsson wrister from the right circle deflected off Danault and popped up in front of New York goalie Ilya Sorokin. In an attempt to whack it out of harm’s way, Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov wound up hitting it into his own net to give Los Angeles a lead. 

Another mistake from an Islanders defenseman set up a hasty second for the Kings. While in the Los Angeles zone, Kings winger Jaret Anderson-Dolan backhanded a clearing attempt up the left boards where New York blueliner Sebastian Aho sold out to try and catch it and keep it in the zone.

He missed, sending the Kings on a 2-on-1 break that allowed Rasmus Kupari to hit Kaliyev for an easy tap-in just 1:25 after Danault’s opener.

“There are games when if you make a mistake, it ends up in the back of your net,” Lambert said. “It’s that simple, and that’s what happened tonight on a couple of occasions.”

Just 4:09 later, Vilardi went bar down on a one-timer to triple Los Angeles’ lead to cap off the swift sucker punch that left an uninspired Islanders team in a hole far too large to dig out of. By the time of Los Angeles’ third goal, it was outshooting New York 23-8.

“In the second, we just didn’t generate much,” defenseman Noah Dobson said. “It was a pretty tight first period and the second got away from us a little bit.”

The Islanders stopped the bleeding with 3:26 to go in the period when, on the power play, Dobson slapped his 12th goal of the season through traffic and past the glove side of Kings netminder Jonathan Quick.

Adam Pelech brought the Islanders to within one with 4:37 to go when Adam Pelech barreled down the left boards and sent a centering pass intended for Matt Martin, but it went off the skate of Kings defender Matt Roy and popped over Quick’s shoulder and into the back of the net. 

For more on the Islanders, visit AMNY.com