Kings come up big in shutout win over Islanders, 3-0

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It was smooth sailing for Los Angeles as they snapped the Islander's 6-game winning streak.

LOS ANGELES — In the final game of their 5-game home stand, the Kings welcomed the New York Islanders to town. The contest got off to a slow start, with neither team being able to break the ice in the first period as both goalies held firm. In the second, Adrian Kempe would put the Kings on the board with his 20th score of the season to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. With some more solid defense, they took their lead into the third and final period. This time around, it would be Phillip Danault who knocked in his 15th of the season to double up the lead. In the final minutes, Trevor Moore took advantage of an empty net to cash in and provide the insurance. The Kings walked away with a solid 3-0 victory and are now poised with some momentum on their side before they hit the road for a three-game trip.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Kempe reaches the 20-goal mark

After returning from an arm injury in the Kings’ 4-1 loss against Dallas on Saturday night, Adrian Kempe is already back in his groove. The 8-year veteran helped get his team on the board in the second period as he delivered a scorcher from the right side of the ice for number 20 on the season.

The goal officially helped him secure his 3rd consecutive season with 20 or more goals scored, marking the first time he’s ever done it. With 10 more goals, he would also make it his third straight season recording 30+ goals, which would be an even more impressive feat that points towards his importance to Los Angeles. Kempe spoke following the game about returning from injury and being able to get his rhythm back after a slow first game against Dallas.

If he is able to maintain his healthy status for the rest of the season, Kempe will be a valuable piece of the puzzle as the Kings prepare to make their playoff run in April.

David Rittich dazzles in a shutout performance

With goalie David Rittich getting his first start since February 26th in a 4-2 loss to the Oilers, he made sure that he was going to leave a strong mark on Monday night’s game. The 31-year-old in the midst of his first season with the Kings had New York locked down throughout the entirety of the game. He saved all 26 shots that he saw and helped ensure a stress-free win for his squad.

It was the second shutout of the season for Rittich (the Kings’ 5th of the year), and just the sixth of his career so far. His previous shutout came in a 4-0 win against the Oilers back in February, which happened to be Jim Hiller’s first game as the interim head coach for Los Angeles. The victory helped Rittich improve his record to 10-4-3 this season, and it will be interesting to see if his marvelous performance earns him some more frequent starting opportunities down the stretch.

Drew Doughty moves up the Kings’ all-time point list

Long-time King and franchise legend Drew Doughty used his assist to help the Kings grab a W and made some of his own history in the process. Coming into the contest, his career point total stood at 659, tying him with Butch Goring on the all-time Kings list. With his apple on Phillip Denault’s third-period score, he reached career point number 660 to take sole possession of eighth place on the team’s all-time points list.

Doughty fed the puck down low to Trevor Moore, who was able to leave it in front of the net for Danault as he cashed in. The 16-year veteran has totaled 30 or more points in every season for the Kings since 2013-2014 and is the definition of reliability. This season alone, he has 41 points (14 goals and 27 assists) and is one of the top 6 in points for Los Angeles. His help in the win was much appreciated as he reached another impressive career milestone.

After a 3-1-1 home stand, the Kings will now head out for a big three-game road trip with stops in St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas. Up first is a battle with the Blues on Wednesday afternoon as Los Angeles tries to keep the pressure on Edmonton, who remains just 4 points ahead of the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division. St. Louis is 33-29-3 this season and is currently battling to try and claim the second wild card spot.

The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. PT.