Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings took on Jose Theodore and the new look Florida Panthers on Thursday night at Staples Center in the first of two meetings this season. The Kings came out flying and got and early goal from Jack Johnson (5), assisted by Matt Greene and Anze Kopitar on the second shot of the game. Early leads are something we haven’t seen enough of this season. It was a bit refreshing to not have to wait until the second period for the Kings to come alive. Meanwhile, Bob Miller and Jim Fox shared a pretty funny moment on the Fox Sports West broadcast. Jim had a slip of the tongue and they needed to take some time and compose themselves. Jim, coming out of mute and his obvious laughing fit, can only get out, “we need a whistle, Bob”. It was a classic moment that may not have been so funny if you missed the initial remark. Jim was trying to say there was something wrong with the pea in the ref’s whistle but it came out sounding like “penis whistle”. Immediately it began trending on Twitter. These guys are the best in the business and it was fun to hear them lose control for once. Back to the game…
Dustin Brown (5) got a nice power play goal in the second that was setup from Slava Voynov and Quick (his sixth career assist). The Panthers answered right back with a goal from Sean Bergenheim, on a play that should have been called offside. Nevertheless, the goal was assisted by Erik Gudbranson and Tomas Kopecky and the Panthers were only down by one. A series of penalties that, imagine this, went against the Kings, lead to four minutes of power play time to end the second period (with a little time carried over to the third). The Kings got the raw end of the deal on that one as Mike Richards was hit high by Bergenheim (a hit that would eventually lead to him leaving the game) then Greene chased him around for a while before all hell broke loose. On the penalty kill, we saw something we don’t see very often; Jack Johnson saw Kopecky slash Quick, decided enough was enough, dragged Kopecky down and actually dropped his gloves. He was ready to beat someone. I love that these guys are standing up for one another. Anyhow, shots were 29-16 in favor of the Panthers at the end of two and each team got a goal in the period. Kings lead 2-1. Once again, Jonathan Quick was trying like hell to steal a game for the Kings.
Willie Mitchell went out early in the first period with the ultra-ambiguous “lower body” injury, leaving the Kings with 5 defensemen to play 59 minutes (about 30 of which were spent killing penalties). Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration but you get my point. The Kings have now killed 24 straight penalties. This is worth noting because the penalty kill was down at the bottom of the league not so long ago. We can only hope that Mitchell and Richards are alright. Richards was being evaluated for a head injury during the third period while the Kings continued to fight for their lives and search for that magical third goal that essentially secures the win. While the third goal would not come, the win eventually would. The Kings hung on for a hard-fought, 2-1 win over the Panthers. Jonathan Quick steals another two points. As soon as I have more info on Mitchell and Richards, I will provide updates. Until then, enjoy the win and we’ll see you Saturday when the Montreal Canadians come to town for a 12:30 matinee. As always, we can discuss on Twitter.
Tags: Anze Kopitar Bob Miller Dustin Brown Erik Gudbranson Florida Panthers Fox Sports West Jack Johnson Jim Fox Jonathan Quick Jose Theodore Los Angeles Kings Matt Greene Mike Richards Montreal Canadians Sean Bergenheim Slava Voynov Staples Center Tomas Kopecky Twitter Willie Mitchell