As the Los Angeles Kings were winding down their epic road trip across North America, they likely didn’t have Feb. 19 checked off on the calendar as a shutout loss.
The New York Islanders did just that Saturday night in front of more than 13,000 fans, getting a strong game in goal from seldom used Al Montoya (35 saves), while Matt Moulson tallied a pair of goals against brother-in-law Jonathan Quick on Long Island.
The end result was a 3-0 win for the Isles, and a long plane trip back to Southern California for a Kings squad that had notched 13 of a possible 16 points on the road during their trip. While the Kings still officially have one game left on this jaunt (Wednesday night at Anaheim), the worst of it is behind them, having traveled to Minnesota, Western Canada and a number of East Coast cities.
New York, meantime, was looking to rebound after its four-game winning streak was snapped Thursday evening at home in a 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.
The Isles, who fell 5-1 in Los Angeles back in November, also got a goal from Frans Nielsen. The victory was New York’s sixth in its last 10 games it has played in February.
Montoya, part of the revolving door of Islander goaltenders this season, recorded 28 saves in the final two periods for his second career shutout. It was his first start in the NHL since April 9, 2009, while a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I’m just appreciating this chance that I am getting,” Montoya told The Associated Press. “Who knows when the next chance is going to be? I just go out there and leave it all on the ice.”
Meantime, the Kings will be happy to see California once again, having been on the road for what seems like months instead of weeks.
“We had a very good road trip,” Kings coach Terry Murray remarked. “We have one more game and then we get back home. When you see players not making plays, you could say the road trip was a little long.”
The Islanders return to action at home Monday afternoon( 1 p.m. ET) in a special President’s Day matinee against the Florida Panthers.
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Written by Dave Thomas