The Florida Panthers fired 36 shots at Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, but only lit the lamp once in a 3-1 loss that ended the club’s four-game winning streak in front of a crowd of 14, 099 at the BB&T Center.
Florida got off to a good start and opened the scoring at 11:32 mark with a power-play goal. Mike Matheson fed Denis Malgin in the right circle and he fired off a rapid shot that miss the net. Fortunately, the carom off the end boards came right to Aaron Ekblad, who flipped the puck into the net for his eleventh goal.
The Kings countered early in the second period when Andy Andreoff’s slick backhand pass opened up space for Nick Shore. Shore worked his way laterally by Alex Petrovic before roofing a wrister over the glove of Harri Sateri. Derek Forbert started the play off with a nice hold at the blue line.
Los Angeles took the lead with 3:57 left in the middle frame. On a rush, Forbert sent a crossing passing to Jonny Brodzinski. Brodzinski, the trailer on the play, didn’t handle the puck cleanly, but somehow he managed to slap a backhander towards the net that deflected off Malgin and by a helpless Sateri. The goal came two minutes after a wide-open Evgenii Dadonov missed a glorious scoring opportunity by ringing a shot off the post.
Forbert collected his third assist 25 seconds into the third period when he broke up a play in his own end to start another Kings odd-man rush. Alex Iafello cruised down the left side and centered to Anze Kopitar, who got ahead of Keith Yandle and deflected the puck by Sateri to put Los Angeles up by two.
After stopping all 16 shots in the second period, Quick turned away 12 more in the third to hold the Panthers, who had plenty of good chances go unfinished, at bay. The Cats played alright, but a few too many mistakes coupled with too much Quick brought its winning streak to an aburpt halt. The Cats will travel to chilly Edmonton to kick off a key five-game road trip on Monday night. The Panthers now find themselves 8 points out of a playoff spot after the New York Islanders leapfrogged the Columbus Blue Jackets with a crazy 7-6 overtime win over Detroit. A bit of good news... the Panthers have four games in hand on the Isles.
Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)
Baubles & Bits
- The victory gave the Kings its 30th win and season-series sweep of the Panthers. Los Angeles outscored Florida 7-1 in the two games they played against each other.
- Rookie Maxim Mamim, Jamie McGinn, Jared McCann and Mark Pysyk were the only Cats not to finish with a minus rating. Alex Petrovic was the only Panther to post a -2.
- Jonathan Quick was 1-7 in his previous eight starts and had given up five goals in each of his past two. There were little to no signs of that last night against Florida.
- Harri Sateri saw his personal four-game winning streak come to end. Sateri made 23 saves in his consecutive start and now sports a 4-4 record.
- Staying on the goaltender tip, James Reimer dressed for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury against Dallas on January 23. Look for Reimer to get the start against the Oilers.
- The Panthers went 1 for 2 on the power play against the league’s best penalty kill.
- Jewels From the Crown has the glitzier side of Florida’s latest loss to L.A.