Matt Moulson scored twice and Al Montoya made 35 saves as the New York Islanders shut out the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 at the Nassau Coliseum Saturday night. P.A. Parenteau and John Tavares each had a pair of assists for the Isles.
For Moulson, the two-goal game was a little bit sweeter than usual because he scored twice on his brother-in-law, Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick. The two did get together while the Kings were in town.
“We had dinner yesterday,” Moulson said. “He wouldn’t let me cook he said I was going to put something in there.
“We went to our in-laws, we went to neutral ground. I was lucky to get a couple [of goals] on him. Today, I think I was a little more nervous than usual coming into the game,” Moulson admitted.
While Moulson led the offensive attack, scoring goals in the second and third period, Montoya earned his second career shutout.
“He was square to the puck, he controlled his rebounds and he made the saves when he had to make them,” Isles Coach Jack Capuano said when asked about Montoya’s performance.
Montoya was quick to credit his teammates, who played a strong game in their own zone and did an excellent job of limiting the Kings’ rebound opportunities.
“The team made it pretty easy,” Montoya said. “I may have made a few saves up top but for the most part, everything was from the outside, letting me see everything. It’s not every game that happens.”
Capuano agreed, adding that team defense was a problem against the Bruins. “That was something our coaching staff addressed in practice. We have to play like that. We have to be a solid defensive team. We can’t run around, we have to play our position and I think our guys did a good job tonight, especially our forwards.”
Frans Nielsen opened the scoring at the 5:01 mark of the first period with a shorthanded goal set up by Michael Grabner. Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was victimized on the play. He turned the puck over to Grabner, was faked out by Nielsen and then screened Quick. Nielsen ripped a rising wrist shot that went in just under the cross bar.
“I tried to use Johnson as a screen and he just opened up last second so I got it through his legs and I don’t think he [Quick] saw it,” Nielsen said about his league-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season.
Kings’ Coach Terry Murray was impressed with the way the Isles played.
“The Islanders, right now, are in a very relaxed state,” Murray said. “Their players are just playing. They’re stretching guys out. They’re leaving the zone early, to look for those long opportunities. There’s no pressure, there’s no consequence for anything that’s happening out there right now. So that’s the easiest time in your life to play hockey, is when you’re just having fun. Give them credit for doing that. They came at us and won the game. They beat us 3-0.”
The win gave the Isles five victories in their last six games. They return to action Monday afternoon when they host the Florida Panthers in a President’s Day matinee.
Bruno Gervais, Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin were the Isles scratches.
The crowd booed Ryan Smyth every time he touched the puck. Smyth was traded to the Islanders in 2007 but refused to re-sign with the team the following summer and took less money to join the Avalanche.