UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Thievery among friends? Not on this memorable night for the Kings' kids, who sparked their stirring third-period comeback with three consecutive goals, resulting in a 3-2 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Afterward, there was still a look of wonder from Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, who had scored his first NHL goal in his first regular-season game, and a wide grin from right wing Tyler Toffoli, the man with the game-winner with 1:27 remaining.
Their linemate, center Linden Vey, was especially sharp when they were put together in the third period, helping set up Pearson's tying goal and the winning goal. Defenseman Slava Voynov scored the Kings' first goal and added an assist in the third period.
GAME SUMMARY: Kings 3, Islanders 2
Toffoli got a kick out of recounting Pearson's power-play goal, which slowly trickled past Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin at 12:15 of the third. It was reviewed and the referee's call on the ice stood.
"I wasn't too worried. I had a pretty good look at it," said Pearson, who added it was more nerve-racking watching it trickle in so slowly.
Said Toffoli: "It was pretty cool. I told him [Pearson] that I saw it trickling in and I was gonna tap it in. But I left him have it — his first goal. He said he wouldn't have been too happy, so I let him have that one."
Give one, and get one.
Toffoli did just that from the high slot, redirecting defenseman Jake Muzzin's shot over Poulin's shoulder as he was moving left.
"I saw it was rolling, "said Toffoli, who has had at least one point in each of the five games since he was called up from the minors. "There wasn't a lot of time. I knew he was going to put it on the net so I went to the high slot and got a little piece of it."
It gave the Kings a 3-2 lead as they rallied from a 2-0 deficit in their first full game without franchise goalie Jonathan Quick, who went out with a strained groin on Tuesday. The Islanders held a 2-0 lead going into the third period.
Quick was diagnosed with a Grade 2 groin strain following an MRI exam, and he could be out for several weeks. And another one of the many injured Kings, high-scoring forward Jeff Carter (foot fracture) could be out at least three more weeks, according to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi. Lombardi said that was, in fact, somewhat positive, that Carter's return could be closer to three weeks away instead of six.
"I don't think you can replace Quickie," said Kings goalie Ben Scrivens, who was making his first start since Oct. 29. "An elite guy, an Olympic, most likely.… If you go in with that mind-set, that I've got to replicate what he does, that's big shoes to fill."
Said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty: "We have a lot of new faces in the lineup and we don't have the team we usually have. To come back from a 2-0 deficit and score three goals in the third period shows depth and character."
Voynov pulled himself together in the third period after a rough opening 40 minutes. He had seven giveaways overall, but seemed like another player in the final period. "The pace of his game has to pick up," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said.
The new kids in town energized the Kings. Toffoli and Vey arrived from the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 2, and Pearson joined them Wednesday, along with backup goalie Martin Jones. Pearson said there was no time for "to pout or feel sorry for myself," when he was initially left behind.
He responded with a stellar showing with Manchester immediately after his linemates were called up, and said on Thursday: "It was kind of a mission weekend."
At New Jersey
When: 4 p.m.
On the air: TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 1150.
ETC: This is the first visit to New Jersey for the Kings since their matchup against the Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=latimes&page=nhl/scores/final/boxscore.aspx?GAMEID=18178" target="new">GAME SUMMARY: Kings 3, Islanders 2