After pulling out a win against the San Jose Sharks and playing the Phoenix Coyotes tough to open their four-game road trip, the Florida Panthers delivered a stinker against the Los Angeles Kings in a 4-0 Saturday afternoon loss at the sold out Staples Center.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves to post his fifth shutout of the season, and Los Angeles got goals from Trevor Lewis, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Alec Martinez.
The Panthers started the game off playing pretty well, but after effectively killing off an Ed Jovanovski slashing minor, Lewis found a juicy rebound in the slot and punched it past a helpless Roberto Luongo at 11:03 of the opening period.
Later in the frame, Richards was allowed a clear path to Luongo, and his tenth goal of the season, again immediately after the Cats had killed off another L.A. power-play attempt. Strange that Florida could get by 4 on 5 against the Kings, but not at even strength. Oh well, it's not a Panthers game if they are not down 2-0 in the first period now is it?
Tomas Fleischmann had a great chance to cut the deficit in half early in the middle frame, but put a weak backhander into Quick's glove instead of the back of the net. The play was reviewed, but alas, no goal for the snake-bitten Flash.
Brown scored about six minutes later to make it 3-0 and put the Cats to bed early. No way they were going to come back from three down on the stingy Mr. Quick.
Martinez completed the scoring with a third period power-play goal from Slava Voynov and Jeff Carter with rookie Quinton Howden in the sin bin for high-sticking.
The Panthers will head south on the 5 and get right back at it tomorrow against Anaheim. A much better effort will be needed against the mighty Ducks if the Cats want to finish this road trip up at .500.
Odds & Ends
- A big day for L.A. keeper Jonathan Quick, who in addition to his 30th NHL shutout, posted the 172nd victory of his career, allowing him to pass Rogie Vachon for the most wins in Kings history. Vachon was in the building to see Quick eclipse his mark, which was pretty cool.
- The whitewashing was Los Angeles' eleventh of the season, tying the franchise-record set during the 2011-12 campaign. Yes, this team is hard to score on.
- Sean Bergenheim (in his first game back from IR), Nick Bjugstad and Scottie Upshall each finished with four shots on goal for the Cats, accounting for half of the team's total of 24.
- The Kings absolutely dominated the Panthers in the two-game season series, outscoring them by a 7-0 count. Ben Scrivens blanked the Cats 3-0 in the first meeting in Sunrise.
- Florida has not won in Tinseltown since November 27, 2002. The Cats have now dropped nine of their last ten against Los Angeles.
- Roberto Luongo made 25 saves and saw his record drop to 3-4-1 since the trade from Vancouver.
- If you have an aching in your heart, try going to California's Jewels From The Crown for more.