Kings win fourth in a row as Kopitar returns

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dwight King scored twice in a 20-second span late in the third period, Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 on Wednesday night for their fourth consecutive win.

Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez also scored to help the Kings win their fifth straight at home.

Anders Lee scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for the Islanders, who dropped to 1-5-1 on the road this season.

King deflected in Derek Forbort‘s long slap shot for the go-ahead goal with 2:28 remaining, seconds after a power play expired. He made it 3-1 just 20 seconds later, and Muzzin added an empty-netter.

Lee tied it 4:27 into the third period. He was somehow able to collect and backhand in the rebound of Travis Hamonic‘s missed shot while tangled up with Kings defenseman Matt Greene.

Lee added his third goal of the season with 1:52 left to make it 4-2, but the Islanders failed in their attempt to string together consecutive wins away from Barclays Center for the first time this season.

Martinez put the Kings ahead 15:34 into the first period with his fourth goal of the season, taking advantage of Trevor Lewis‘ screen in front to beat Halak with a shot from the blue line.

Kings defensemen have seven goals during their winning streak, including Martinez scoring the opener against New Jersey last Saturday.

Muzzin and Anze Kopitar, who returned to action after missing five games with a hand/wrist injury, had assists on the play.

The Islanders could not carry over the momentum from their first road win of the season Tuesday at Anaheim, despite two power-play opportunities in the first 11 minutes. New York had just one shot with the man advantage and seven total in the opening period, half the number needed to decide their 14-round shootout against the Ducks the previous night.

The Kings’ penalty kill has been especially sharp of late, allowing just one goal in 16 opportunities over its last five games.

The second period was a sleepy affair, with no goals, no penalties and the teams combining for 13 shots. There was drama in the closing 30 seconds as the puck took a strange bounce off the wall, leaving Halak out of position, but Kyle Clifford lost his footing in front of the crease and could not take advantage.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched G Thomas Greiss, RW Cal Clutterbuck and D Scott Mayfield. Clutterbuck, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Ducks, went through pregame warmups before being held out. … The Kings scratched LW Teddy Purcell and D Tom Gilbert.

UP NEXT

Islanders: Friday at San Jose.

Kings: Saturday night at home against Chicago.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.