Los Angeles Kings Bounce Back With Strong 6-3 Win at Florida Panthers

Feb 9, 2017; Sunrise, FL, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) makes a save in the second period of a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Sunrise, FL, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) makes a save in the second period of a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Kings swung to the other end of the hockey spectrum with a dominant win over the Florida Panthers 6-3 after their embarrassing performances against the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.

They were previously shutout 5-0 two games in a row, and the Kings looked especially hungry to regain some momentum against the Panthers.

It was Miami Marlins Night at the BB&T Center, and a few members of the baseball team participated in the ceremonial puck dropping.

Jiggs McDonald called the game for the Kings tonight, returning for a special appearance as part of the team’s 50th anniversary celebration.

McDonald was the original voice of the Kings, and the 1990 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner holds the special distinction of calling the first preseason, regular season, and postseason game in franchise history.

Peter Budaj started in net for the Kings for the 8th straight game, while James Reimer got the start between the pipes for the Panthers.

For the second straight game, the scratches for the Kings were Kevin Gravel and Devin Setoguchi. Scratches for the Panthers were Greg McKegg and Jakub Kindl, also for the second straight game. All were healthy scratches.

The game had barely begun when Tyler Toffoli took a high stick to the face from Jussi Jokinen, and the Kings went on the power play just 19 seconds into the 1st period.

The Kings capitalized on the opportunity with a somewhat fluky goal. Dustin Brown looked like he was sending a pass to the front of the net, but it deflected off of Reimer and trickled past the goal line. Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter got the assists at 1:39.

Los Angeles struck again with a Jeff Carter goal. Tanner Pearson sent a pass to the front of the net, and Carter lit the lamp top shelf stick side at 8:16.

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For a team that hadn’t scored in two games, they looked eager to demoralize the goaltender early on in this game.

At 9:57, the Kings went on the penalty kill for the first time when Carter was called for tripping Jonathan Huberdeau.

The Kings successfully killed off that penalty, but gave up a goal at 12:04 when Jokinen buried a great pass from Nick Bjugstad in the back of the net. Vincent Trocheck got the other assist.

A pair of penalties were handed out at 13:30 to Shawn Thornton and Derek Forbort, both for roughing. The 4-on-4 stretch resulted in a Los Angeles goal from Toffoli that beat Reimer top shelf, glove side.

Toffoli had plenty of room to operate on the goal at 14:59, getting assists from Drew Doughty and Carter. Reimer was swapped out for Roberto Luongo after the defensive lapse.

At 15:32, Alex Petrovic and Trevor Lewis got into a bit of a scuffle. Lewis was called for slashing, and Petrovic got a double minor for roughing. No scoring came from the resulting power play, though.

Carter finished that period with 3 points, and the entire team could proudly claim that they chased a goaltender in less than 15 minutes.

At 4:06 into the 2nd period, Pearson tipped a pass from Brown into the back of the net to extend the lead to 4-1.

Good things tend to happen when you get pucks to the front of the net, and the Kings continued to prove that adage true just seconds later.

At 4:27, Dwight King pushed in a rebound on a shot that Paul Ladue heaved on goal. Lewis got the other assist. It was Ladue’s first career point.

Carter continued his dominant performance when Luongo couldn’t handle a rebound on a shot from Pearson. Carter cleaned it up for his second goal of the game at 7:31. Brayden McNabb got the other assist.

It was the 7th multi-goal game for Carter this season, and it was the official sign that the wheels had fallen off for the Panthers. Reimer was sent back into the game after Luongo proved to be an ineffective remedy.

Boos cascaded from a crowd that already looked pretty sparse to begin with, and the jeers didn’t subside when Jaromir Jagr was sent to the box soon after at 8:01 for hooking Doughty. The Kings couldn’t score on that man advantage, though.

At 13:22, Nick Shore was called for high sticking Michael Sgarbossa. The Kings didn’t give up any shots on goal as they successfully killed off the penalty.

Petrovic drew a penalty at 16:41 when Andy Andreoff got called for holding. The Kings once again killed off the penalty.

The most entertaining aspect of the night for Panthers fans was not only it being Marlins night, but also Pro Wrestling Night at the arena, with greats like Tommy Dreamer, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and Christian in the house.

There really wasn’t much suspense remaining by the time the 3rd period began. The Panthers got a goal when Jonathan Marchessault at 11:09 got a pass at point blank range from Sgarbossa.

At 12:34, Thornton was given a 10 minute misconduct for dropping the gloves and challenging Kyle Clifford, but Clifford chose not to oblige him with a fight.

Marian Gaborik was called for hooking Jokinen at 16:06. Budaj made 3 saves on the power play as the Kings managed to kill off the penalty.

The Panthers scored a somewhat irrelevant goal in the final minute, but it still counts the same on the stat sheet. Aleksander Barkov got the goal at 19:38 on assists from Huberdeau and Jagr.

Carter tallied 4 points in this game, and continued his extremely impressive season for Los Angeles. Pearson added 3 points himself.

The Panthers outshot the Kings 39-26 and won the faceoff battle 41-24, but the Kings secured the 6-3 victory to go into their week long break on a high note.

Los Angeles went 1 of 3 on their power play chances, while the Panthers were unable to convert on any of their 4 opportunities on the man advantage.

Next: Los Angeles Kings Getting Career Season From Alec Martinez

The Kings will next play February 16 back home against the Arizona Coyotes. The Panthers will embark on a 5 game road trip beginning February 11 against the Nashville Predators.