Recap: Kings @ Panthers, 11/23/15

Final 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Kings (13-8-0) 1 1 1 3
@ Panthers (8-9-4) 0 1 0 1

First Period

It didn’t even take one minute for this game to take a bit of a bad turn. It is not exactly clear what happened to Jonathan Huberdeau so early in the game, but he was down on the ice in quite a bit of pain for a minute or two before finally getting up and heading down the tunnel. Thankfully, the injury was clearly not as bad as expected because he was back on the bench within a few minutes. Despite this confusion, the Panthers and Kings played fairly evenly in the first seven minutes of the period. However, Montoya let in a weak goal with 12:13 to go in the period and the Kings took the lead. The game was almost made 2-0 less than a minute later when Montoya was rammed into his own goal along with the puck.  The goal was called off on the ice but Montoya did not fare very well in the incident. His injury seemed to be neck or head related. Luongo quickly dressed and prepared to take over. Luongo got some extra time to prepare for play because the Kings used a coaches challenge on the previous no-goal. The call on the ice stood and the Kings lost their time out. Quinton Howden was penalized on a high sticking call not long after the altercation. Thankfully, the Panthers barely allowed the Kings to get a shot off and the penalty was killed. The Panthers got yet another high sticking penalty, this time by the hands of Willie Mitchell, and the Panthers went back on the penalty kill. Once again, the Kings were not able to score on their power play, but Luongo had to save some killer shots in order to make it so. The Panthers were able to catch a break when Marian Gaborik was called for tripping. However, the power play was short-lived because Aaron Ekblad was called for hooking just seconds into the advantage. After a little bit of back-and-forth play, the teams were at even strength again but at this point, there were only 6 seconds left in the period. At the end of the first frame, the Kings were leading the Panthers 1-0. The Kings had 17 shots on goal, while the Panthers had just 4. A common issue for the Panthers as of late has been getting the puck on net. This issue has been evident this period, as the Panthers were only able to get 4 shots on goal. The defense has been looking alright but the Panthers really need to work on their offense.

Second Period

The Panthers looked better at the start of the second, doubling the amount of shots they had in the first period within the first four minutes of play. The Panthers got their second power play of the game when Jake Muzzin was called for hooking and luckily, this one was not truncated. Aleksander Barkov was able to score early in the power play to tie the game and the goal was assisted by his linemates, Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau. Now, the Cats were on fire. Pucks were firing fairly quickly at Jonathan Quick (pun definitely intended) but he made it clear that taking the lead would not be an easy feat for the Panthers. Jake Muzzin was sent back to the box with 8:41 left in the period, this time for roughing, and the Panthers had another power play opportunity. Some masterful play by Brian Campbell kept the puck in the offensive zone for most of the man advantage, but the Panthers were still unable to score. Things were looking pretty good for the Panthers until Alec Martinez scored a late goal to give the Kings the lead. Then, to add insult to injury, Jonathan Huberdeau was given a holding penalty that would last for the rest of the period. The penalty was killed, but the Panthers were still trailing. At the end of the period, the Kings led 2-1. The Cats had 18 shots on goal and the Kings had 24. Despite allowing the Kings to score again, the Panthers actually played very well this period, so they should be able to pull out the win if they continue this play into the third.

Third Period

The Panthers could not find the same momentum in the third period that they had in the second. In fact, just over a minute into the final frame, Marian Gaborik scored to widen the Kings’ lead. A glimmer of hope appeared after Brayden McNabb was called for hooking but sadly, this glimmer did not develop into anything bigger as the penalty was promptly killed. For the Panthers, the shots on goal were definitely there but actually scoring was a whole other story. The Panthers got another power play opportunity on a Christian Ehrhoff tripping call. The Cats had multiple opportunities with a wide open Kings net but somehow, the puck stayed out of the goal. Luongo headed to the bench to allow the extra attacker with just over two minutes left in the game. This, however, was not enough to allow a Cats comeback to occur and the score was 3-1 Kings at the end of the game.

Who’s Hot?

Aleksander Barkov kept up his three game goal streak tonight after scoring midway through the second. His whole line, including Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr, played extremely well tonight. Other than that, nobody really stuck out as great tonight. The Panthers need to step up their game because now, they’re burdened with a losing record.

Next Game

Your Florida Panthers will be finishing off their five game home stand on Friday, November 25th at 7:30 PM ET against the New York Islanders. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.

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