Kings (32-22-4, 68 points) vs. New York Islanders (21-30-7) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 4 p.m. PT.
Five storylines to track:
1. One more for the road – This marks the final true road game of 10 consecutive away from home. The Kings play one more Wednesday at Honda Center against the Ducks, then return home Thursday against Minnesota, their first game at Staples Center since Jan. 26. So far, Los Angeles is 5-0-3 on the longest road trip of the season, all but canceling out the 2-6 stretch the Kings endured last month during their longest home stand.
2. One for the books – With a victory or overtime loss, the Kings will extend their point streak to 12 games, the longest in club history. They’ve needed every point to stay in the Western Conference playoff race, which doesn’t show any signs of loosening. Heading into Friday’s games, the Kings are in a dead heat with the Ducks for sixth place. In fact, the Kings and Ducks not only have the same record, but their home and away records are identical as well.
3. Poni Express – Except for his mind-boggling high-sticking penalty at the end of regulation Thursday night in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers, Kings forward Alexei Ponikarovsky is playing some of his best hockey of the season. Despite spending four minutes in the penalty box during overtime, he had the most ice time since Dec. 13 at Detroit. With his prototype NHL build, Ponikarovsky seems more interested in throwing his body around lately, jarring pucks loose and wearing down opponents.
4. Remember when – When the Kings beat the Islanders, 5-1, on Nov. 13, it extended their winning streak to a season-long six games. The good times abruptly ended two nights later when they were thoroughly beaten in San Jose, setting off a string of six losses in seven games. The last meeting also came at the tail end of the most miserable time of the Islanders’ season, when they lost 14 consecutive games and coach Scott Gordon was fired two days after the loss to the Kings.
5. Rookie sensation – The Kings have some pretty good rookies this season but none have come close to matching the accomplishments of Islanders forward Michael Grabner. The 23-year-old has scored 25 goals this season, including 16 in the last 16 games. Grabner has made a lot of defenders look bad this season but nothing compared to what he’s doing to the Florida Panthers, the team that cut him a week before the start of this season.