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National Hockey League
Los Angeles 4, Florida 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 16, 2021
Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Mitch Dunning, Corey Syvret
Linesmen: Tyson Baker, Jesse Marquis
Attendance: 14458

Jonathan Quick made a season-high 41 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, a shot by Florida's Anthony Duclair 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.

Los Angeles tied the score with 2:55 left in the first on a centering pass from Maatta that went in off the right skate of Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar.

With 16:33 remaining in the second, the Kings took a 2-1 lead on a goal that came just 14 seconds after a failed power play. A terrific stretch pass from rookie defenseman Sean Durzi connected with Kopitar, who flipped a backhander over Bobrovsky's glove.

The Kings took a 3-1 lead with 7:02 left in the second as Brown fought off two Panthers defensemen -- Weegar and Kiersted -- drove to the net and slipped the puck past Bobrovsky's right leg.

Kaliyev's goal with 12:58 left in the third gave Los Angeles a 4-1 lead.

The Panthers couldn't catch up and have now lost two straight home games, getting outscored 12-3 in those games.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Los Angeles   Florida
Dustin Brown 1 Points Matt Kiersted 1
Dustin Brown 1 Goals Matt Kiersted 1
Sean Durzi 1 Assists Jonathan Huberdeau 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Jonathan Quick .976 Save Percentage Sergei Bobrovsky .871
Jonathan Quick 41 Saves Sergei Bobrovsky 27
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Los Angeles 31 4 0-2 4-4 8 36
Florida 42 1 0-4 2-2 4 17
Upcoming Games
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Minnesota. The Panthers have a W/L % of .722 after a win and .455 after a loss.
  • Los Angeles will play their next game on the road against Carolina. The Kings have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .375 after a loss.