Kings roll past short-handed Panthers

Kings roll past short-handed Panthers

Jonathan Quick made a season-high 40 saves as the visiting Los Angeles Kings routed the short-handed Florida Panthers 4-1 on Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla.Olli Maatta, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Arthur Kaliyev scored for the Kings.Matt Kiersted scored for the Panthers, his first NHL goal. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for the Panthers, who still lead the NHL in home wins (14-3-0).However, the Panthers were without seven players due to COVID protocol: forwards Sam Bennett, Carter Verhaeghe, Frank Vatrano and Ryan Lomberg and defensemen Aaron Ekblad, Radko Gudas and Brandon Montour. Also for the Panthers, captain/center Aleksander Barkov and forward Noel Acciari remain out due to injuries.Florida played with just 11 forwards instead of 12 and with just five defensemen instead of six.Five Panthers forwards in Thursday’s game had less than 82 games of NHL experience, including Cole Schwindt, who made his league debut. Of Florida’s five defensemen, four of them have less than a full year of experience, including Chase Priskie, who played his second NHL game.The Kings had just one player out due to COVID protocol: defenseman Drew Doughty.Florida’s futility included a fruitless power play in the second period during which Quick was without his stick for about 40 seconds. During a third-period power play, Florida’s Anthony Duclair’s shot sailed over a huge opening on the right side of the net.Despite all of that, Florida opened the scoring with 5:04 remaining in the first period. Kiersted, on a rush down the middle of the ice, took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau and scored on a backhander from the slot.

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