Game 25 (13-8-4)
LOS ANGELES - They were outplayed most of the night and really had to put their penalty-killing to the test with all the times they were in the penalty box. But when it was all said and done, the Los Angeles Kings pulled out their second win as many games by edging the Florida Panthers by a 2-1 score.
Just 95 seconds into the game, it was a former Kings' defenseman who helped out the home side as a point shot by Jack Johnson found its way into the net as the shot bounced off Mike Weaver and past Jose Theodore.
The score remained that way until the second when, on his off-wing, captain Dustin Brown came racing down and shot the puck over Theodore to extend the Los Angeles lead to two. The two-goal lead was short-lived as just 1:26, Sean Bergenheim found himself with a loose puck in front of the net and scored to cut the lead back to one.
Despite peppering Jonathan Quick with 41 shots, that was the only goal the Panthers could muster as the Kings open the month of December on a winning note, just the way they closed the month of November.
With their power play goal, the Kings did well being a man up but their penalty-killing was a few steps better as they went 7-for-7 shorthanded with four of those penalties coming in the span of 7:40. It was an all-around effort to kill each one of those penalties but no penalty-killer was more valuable tonight than goaltender Jonathan Quick who cerrtainly earned the W, making 40 saves en route to the victory.
Some bad news for the Kings was injury-related as defenseman Willie Mitchell left early in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Furthermore, Mike Richards left the game after the second period after a head shot by Florida's Sean Bergenheim late in the second. Richards was able to finish the period but when he went to the lockerroom for the intermission, he did not come back out to the bench. Obviously, more on those injuries to come soon, especially the latter's.
On a positive note, the win gives head coach Terry Murray career win #499 with a chance to get #500 on Saturday afternoon when the Kings host the Montreal Canadiens.
Photo: Courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images