Game 55 (26-19-10)
SUNRISE, Fla. – If just the first period counted in each of their games, the Los Angeles Kings would have much more to feel confident about. Too bad it doesn’t work that way. Like they had done so frequently lately, the Kings opened the game with a strong first period. Unfortunately, like usual lately, their second and third periods weren’t as promising. The Kings fail to put together a winning streak and the Panthers pick up a big win.
The Panthers shut out the Kings tonight by a score of 2-1 to move into a first-place tie in the Southeast with Washington thanks to their shootout loss to Winnipeg tonight. Sean Bergenheim, who is notorious to Kings fans as the guy who gave Mike Richards a headshot back in December, opened the scoring with an impressive top-corner shot in the second. Mike Santorelli increased the lead later in the period and when the second ended, so did Jonathan Quick’s night.
Quick didn’t have a bad game by any means but Darryl Sutter thought he’d give Jonathan Bernier some playing time and so he played the third without allowing a goal.
Drew Doughty made it interesting late in the game as he pulled the Kings to within a goal and spoiled Scott Clemmensen’s shutout bid in the process. However, late, with Bernier pulled, the Panthers were exhausted and without a timeout. All they had was the hope of Darryl Sutter being asinine enough to call a timeout for his team and let them rest. That’s exactly what Sutter did and on the very next play, the Panthers iced the game with an empty-netter.
Aside from their win Tuesday night in Tampa, this has been a forgettable road trip for the Kings so far. They are 1-3 and hope to right the ship on Saturday morning (or afternoon depending on where you are) when they pay a visit to the New York Islanders.
Photo: Courtesy of Joe Rimkus Jr/Staff Photo