Rookie Bellows scores 2, Islanders rally to beat Kings 5-3
NEW YORK (AP) — Kieffer Bellows has made quite an impression for the New York Islanders in just two games in the NHL.
Bellows scored his first two goals to help the Islanders rally for a 5-3 win over the last-place Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old left wing had an assist in his NHL debut Tuesday night in New York’s overtime win over Dallas, and is showing he could provide the offensive boost coach Barry Trotz has been seeking on the team’s third line.
“He shows you he can skate when you’re engaged and you’re working hard,” Trotz said. “I know he has enough intelligence in the league, calmness in his game, understanding of the game and he’s hard on pucks. He’s producing.”
Anders Lee had a goal and an assist, and Michael Dal Colle and Matt Martin also scored as the Islanders recovered from a 3-1 deficit in the second period to get their third win in five games (3-0-2). Derick Brassard had two assists and Thomas Greiss stopped 22 shots.
New York, splitting home games between the Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center, improved to 6-0-3 in Brooklyn. The Islanders also moved past idle Columbus into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Ben Hutton had a goal and an assist, and Alex Iafallo and Trevor Lewis also scored for Los Angeles, which is last in the Western Conference and has lost eight of nine (1-7-1). Jonathan Quick finished with 28 saves and to fall to 1-9-1 in his last 11 starts.
“We’ve got to learn to play with the lead,” Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. “You have to keep making plays. We can’t afford to blow leads like that.”
Martin tied the score at 3 just 23 seconds into the third as he backhanded the rebound of Devon Toews’ shot from the left point past Quick for his fourth.
Bellows, who scored his first NHL goal earlier in the game, gave the Islanders their first lead of the night as he scored on a sharp angle from the left side along the boards near the goal line with 7:50 left.
“I saw Quick was out of the net and decided to throw it on net, and lucky enough it went in,” said Bellows, the son of three-time NHL All-Star Brian Bellows. “It was a good team win, way to come from behind.”
Lee capped the scoring as he hustled down the ice to knock in an empty-netter with 13 seconds left for his 17th.
Trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Islanders pulled within one just 1:40 into the second as Johnny Boychuk’s one-timer from the right point went in off Dal Colle’s skate.
“The first period we weren’t willing to put the right kind of work in,” Trotz said. “We were looking for an easy game and they’re too well-coached and too structured, and they’ve got some big-time (players). The second period we simplified and played the way we needed to play. We got a goal, the first one by Dal Colle, and went to work from there.”
Lewis restored the Kings’ two-goal lead 5 1/2 minutes later as he redirected Michael Amadio’s shot in front past Greiss for his third.
Bellows pulled the Islanders to 3-2 as he converted a pass from Anthony Beauvillier past Quick from the left side with 9:38 left.
“He’s really strong away from the puck. and he has a really good shot,” Brassard said. “You score goals it’s a bonus.”
Hutton got the Kings on the scoreboard just past the midpoint of the opening period. Trailing the play, the defenseman got a pass from Adrian Kempe in the right slot and beat Greiss on the glove side for his third with 9:40 left. It came on Los Angeles’ fourth shot on goal of the game.
Iafallo doubled the Kings’ lead exactly 7 minutes later on their sixth shot. With the Islanders possessing the puck in their defensive zone, Iafallo stole the puck skated to his left and fired a shot that went in on Greiss’ glove side for his 15th.
NOTES: Iafallo has two goals and five points in the last three games. ... Kings F Anze Kopitar snapped a four-game point streak in which he had three goals and two assists. ... Los Angeles lost in regulation for the first time in 14 games (12-1-1) when it took a lead into the third period. ... Toews played in his 100th game. ... Bellows became the first Islanders rookie since Anders Lee in April 2013 to have at least one point in each of his first two games. ... D Ryan Pulock had a secondary assist on Martin’s goal, giving him an assist for the fourth straight game. He has seven assists in his last eight games. ... The Islanders improved to 5-11-1 when trailing after two periods.
Kings: at New Jersey on Saturday night.
Islanders: at Tampa Bay on Saturday night to open a two-game trip.
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