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Blake's third-period goal gives Kings 3-1 win over slumping Isles

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Blake's third-period goal gives Kings 3-1 win over slumping Isles

The Canadian Press
By:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Rob Blake scored a rare power-play goal for Los Angeles in the third period, and Jason LaBarbera made 28 saves to lift the suddenly surging Kings to a 3-1 victory over the slumping New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Blake shook off defenceman Radek Martinek in front and managed to get his stick on Dustin Brown's shot, squeezing it between the pads of backup goalie Wade Dubielewicz 7:22 into the third.

Matt Moulson also scored for the Kings, who still have an NHL-low 45 points. They are 6-2-1 in their last nine and have three points through two games of their eight-game, 15-day road trip. Alexander Frolov sealed it with an empty-netter with 41 seconds left.

Bryan Berard scored for the Islanders, who lost their sixth straight at home (0-4-2). New York is 4-6-4 in its last 14 and dropped below the playoff cutoff in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders have themselves to blame. A penalty for too many men on the ice gave Los Angeles the power play that produced Blake's fifth goal.

New York didn't earn an advantage until Jeff Giuliano went off for tripping with 8:33 left, but the Islanders couldn't muster the tying goal.

Dubielewicz fought off many Kings shots, popping rebounds up on several saves, but was steady enough in place of flu-stricken all-star Rick DiPietro, who dressed as the backup. Dubielewicz earned his second start in four games and lost for the first time in four outings, dating to a defeat at Ottawa on Dec. 27.

Moulson, playing his fourth game with the Kings since being recalled from AHL Manchester, staked Los Angeles to a 1-0 lead 10:35 in with his fifth of the season and second in two contests.

After getting to a rebound of a shot by Michal Handzus, the 24-year-old rookie took a whack at the puck near the right post. He got it back, shifted around Dubielewicz's left pad and tucked the puck in the net.

The Islanders got even in the otherwise uneventful first period when Berard intercepted a clearing pass from Lubomir Visnovsky - who was harassed by captain Bill Guerin - and skated in alone on LaBarbera. He beat the goalie to the blocker side with 5:41 left in the period, scoring for the second straight game after being scratched the previous three.

New York held a 7-1 shots advantage early in the period but that was cut to 11-8 by the end of the frame thanks to three Kings power plays. As has been the story lately for Los Angeles, each advantage was killed.

Los Angeles owns the NHL's fourth-worst road power-play unit, and came in with only one man-advantage goal in 22 chances over the previous five games. The Kings finished 1-for-5 in their first visit to Long Island since Feb. 16, 2004.

The second period produced even less action than the first as the teams skated with nary a scoring chance to speak of. Los Angeles outshot New York 12-7.

Notes: The Islanders were without LW Ruslan Fedotenko and D Andy Sutton for a second straight game due to the flu. Berard and C Mike Sillinger shook off the effects of the illness after sitting out practice Wednesday. ... Handzus hasn't scored a goal in 19 games. ... This is the Islanders' worst home stretch since a seven-game skid from Feb. 27 to March 29, 2001. They haven't won at Nassau Coliseum since beating New Jersey on Dec. 29.

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Blake's third-period goal gives Kings 3-1 win over slumping Isles