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Balanced scoring leads Kings to 3-1 win over Florida

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

The Kings received an even spread of offensive help as nine different players recorded a point in the club’s 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers Monday night at the BB&T Center.

With the win, the Kings have now bumped back to .500 (2-2-0) on their current five-game road trip, which they’ll complete Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

Tyler Toffoli opened the scoring eight minutes into the game, netting his team-leading 11th goal of the season, his first in six games.

Following heavy work low in Florida’s zone to win possession of the puck, Milan Lucic swung behind Florida’s net, finding Toffoli, who was positioned low in the slot, with a pass which Toffoli spun and shot past Al Montoya.

Less than a minute later, it looked as though Nick Shore upped the Kings’ lead to two, but the refs deemed incidental contact with Montoya, determining Shore’s bid a ‘no goal’, even after Darryl Sutter’s challenge, which was the first time the Kings’ coach utilized the NHL’s new rule.

Montoya was injured on the play and did not return; Roberto Luongo took the helm of Florida’s net.

The Panthers came into the night with the league’s fifth-best power play, which brought them their first and only goal of the evening five minutes into the second when Aleksander Barkov beat Jonathan Quick with a shot that trickled past the Kings’ goaltender.

With less than three minutes to play in the middle frame, Alec Martinez reclaimed the lead for the Kings, burying his third goal of the season.

Joining Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on an offensive rush, Martinez banged home a backhand shot past Luongo after Clifford’s shot ricochet off of Nolan and bounced around traffic in front of the Panthers’ net.

The Kings were quick to pad their lead in the third when Marian Gaborik turned on the jets after receiving an Anze Kopitar pass in the neutral zone, flying in to Florida’s zone to beat Roberto Luongo with a quick shot high to the glove side.

Gaborik, who got off to a rather slow start offensively this season, registered his second goal in five games.

Nine players on the Kings’ roster tied for the lead in points (1), three players in shots taken (4), Jeff Carter in hits delivered (5), Jake Muzzin and Brayden McNabb in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (30:14). Jonathan Quick made 31 saves in the win.

The Kings will complete their five-game road trip Wednesday night when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena, with the puck scheduled to drop just after 4:30PM PST.




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