Two days after opening a three-game trip to California with a shutout win over San Jose, the Florida Panthers were blanked 4-0 by the Los Angeles Kings and backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who made 24 saves.
Tyler Toffoli opened the scoring on a delayed penalty with a tap-in of Drew Doughty’s fine cross-ice feed 8:14 into the first period. Dustin Brown drew the secondary assist with some hard work below the goal line, shielding the puck from Aron Ekblad before passing off to Doughty.
Kuemper came up with big stops on Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov late in the opening stanza to keep the Kings on top.
After a scoreless second period, Jonny Brodzinski notched his first NHL goal at the 2:23 mark of the third to double the lead. Brodzinski took a pass from Nic Dowd and worked his way into the slot before beating James Reimer with a backhand. Former Panther Jussi Jokinen picked up the second helper.
Toffoli took the puck away from Jonathan Huberdeau along the boards and found Andy Andreoff all alone in front of Reimer for an easy goal as Los Angeles padded its lead at 15:19. Adrian Kempe collected the second assist on Andreoff’s first of the season.
Trevor Lewis completed the scoring, with the assists going to Tanner Pearson and Nick Shore, with an empty-netter with 2:53 left to go in the contest.
Once again, the Panthers lost to a team entering a tilt on a four-game losing streak, and failed for the second time this season to win three in a row. The Cats get right back at it with a late afternoon (local time) game against the Anaheim Ducks, who they scored their most impressive win of the campaign against thus far.
Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)
Baubles & Bits
- Darcy Kuemper posted the eighth shutout of his career and first since first since January 21, 2016, when he was tending net for the Minnesota Wild.
- Jonny Brodzinski, a former high school linemate of Nick Bjugstad, became the fifth King to score his first NHL goal so far this season, joining Alex Iafallo, Michael Amadio, Oscar Fantenberg and Kurtis MacDermid.
- James Reimer made 16 saves for Florida and saw his record fall to 3-6-1.
- The Panthers out-shot the Kings 14-5 in the first period, but only managed ten shots over the final forty. Evgenii Dadonov led the way with five shots on goal.
- In addition to scoring the game-opening goal and setting Andy Andreoff’s insurance marker, Tyler Toffoli led the Kings with six shots.
- Florida gave its penalty kill the day off by staying out of the sin bin, for the most part. Vincent Trocheck took the Cats only penalty, but it was a coincidental roughing minor with Tanner Pearson.
- Stop by Jewels From The Crown for more on the disappointing Saturday matinee.