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Kings score four unanswered to beat Florida

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

The Kings scored four unanswered goals Saturday afternoon while handing the Florida Panthers their fifth-straight loss in a 4-1 win at STAPLES Center.

Nick Bjugstad scored the first goal of the afternoon, beating Jonathan Quick with a wrist-shot in the waning seconds of the first period – but that would be the last of the Panthers’ offense for the day.

The Kings came out firing in the second, totaling 20 shots in the middle frame, and had three goals to show for their aggressive approach.

With just under seven minutes to play in the second, Jeff Carter buried his seventh goal of the season to tie the score. Tyler Toffoli, after maintaining control of the puck in Florida’s zone, and drawing attention to himself, dropped off a pass to Carter which he fired past Roberto Luongo.

Carter now has goals in three straight games, and five total points during that stretch.

Moments later, while the Kings were working on their first and only power play of the afternoon, Drew Doughty snuck his first goal of the season past Luongo to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.

Following a faceoff in Florida’s zone, Jake Muzzin touched a soft cross-ice pass to Doughty, who squared up and fired a one-time slap shot which trickled through Florida’s goaltender.

With his goal, Doughty tied Lubomir Visnovsky for third on the Kings’ all-time PPG list among defensemen with 31.

Less than a minute after Doughty gave the Kings the lead, Anze Kopitar added to it, scoring his fifth of the season, chipping a loose puck past Luongo to give the Kings a two-goal cushion with 2:26 to play in the second.

Kopitar’s goal was the 223rd of his NHL career, and with it, he surpassed Charlie Simmer for seventh on the all-time Kings scoring list.

In the third, Jeff Carter cut off a Panthers clearing attempt, then quickly fired a shot on net which Milan Lucic redirected past Luongo to give the Kings a 4-1 lead.

Jeff Carter (1G, 1A) and Tyler Toffoli (2A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Trevor Lewis in shots taken (5), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (8), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (3), and Jake Muzzin in minutes played (23:29). Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in the win.

The Kings will continue their five-game home stand when they host the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night at STAPLES Center, with the puck slated to drop just after 7:30PM PST.





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