Maybe it was the five-day break or maybe it was wearing the road whites on home ice,. Whatever the case, the Florida Panthers were throttled 6-2 by the determined Los Angeles Kings in their return to action Thursday night at the BB&T Center.
Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli scored to send James Reimer to the bench trailing 3-1 with 5:01 left in the first period.
Carter drew the secondary assist on both the Brown and Toffoli goals. Brown’s tally came with the Kings on a power play.
Jussi Jokinen got the Panthers goal at the 12:04 mark, capping off a pretty passing play involving Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Los Angeles pinned three goals on Roberto Luongo in a disastrous 3:25 span early in the second period to bring Reimer back into game.
Tanner Pearson, Dwight King and Carter were the goal-scorers who beat Luongo, who stopped 9 of 12 shots in his 12:32 relief stint.
The Panthers scored twice in third to make the score a little more respectable.
After being stopped twice by Peter Budaj, Jonathan Marchessault took a pass from Michael Sgarbossa in the slot and beat the keeper with a wrister for his sixteenth goal. Jokinen also picked up an assist for his second point of the night.
Florida’s first line completed the scoring with 22 seconds left on the clock when Aleksander Barkov backhanded a rebound into the net. Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau collected the assists.
The only positive that came out of last night was the Philadelphia Flyers also lost, keeping the Cats just three points from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Florida will open a five-game road trip in Nashville on Saturday afternoon. The other stops on the trek are San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and St. Louis. Tough sledding ahead.
Baubles & Bits
- The rout moved the KIngs back into playoff position. Los Angeles had dropped 5-0 decisions to Washington and Tampa Bay in its prior two games and was shutout 1-0 by Philadelphia before that.
- Jeff Carter’s four-point performance pushed him past the 50-point plateau for the eighth time in his career.
- Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau had a tough go of it in the duo’s second game back from injury. Each player finished the tilt with a -3 rating.
- Peter Budaj made 36 stops to post his 26th win of the year. Budaj is five away from matching his career-high of 31 set with Colorado during the 2006-07 campaign.
- James Reimer ended up playing 47:17 of the contest and finished with 11 saves.
- Defenseman Paul LaDue’s helper on Dwight King’s second period was his first point in the NHL.
- Jewels From The Crown has you covered for the other side of last night’s royal butt-kicking.