Florida Panthers (6-4-5) at Los Angeles Kings (9-5-4)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 18, 2014, 10:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -193 / Florida Panthers +175 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Florida Panthers played their best game of the season on Sunday night when they defeated the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center by a score of 6-2. Florida was a step quicker and harder on the puck all night long and they were rewarded for their effort. With the game tied 1-1 in the second period it was Brad Boyes who started the onslaught. Boyes had one of the easiest goals he’s ever scored when he tapped in a beautiful pass from Jonathan Huberdeau. Less than three minutes later it was Nick Bjugstad who used a power move to cut down the left side and then bury the puck past Frederik Andersen. Huberdeau then got a goal of his own midway through the frame when he deflected a point shot from Aaron Ekblad to make it 4-1 Panthers. Florida wasn’t done however as Boyes converted on the power play late in the period to make it a 5-1 lead heading into the third. Bjugstad would score again and Vincent Trocheck also scored in the first period as the Panthers went on to defeat the Ducks by a score of 6-2. Florida did just about everything right in this one and they really used that dominating second period to bring them to a victory. There is plenty of young talent in the Panthers lineup but with that comes a very big learning curve. This still isn’t going to be a very good hockey club this season but expect the Panthers to continue to get better as the season progresses. There’s too much talent on the roster and once these kids start learning what it takes to win in this league they could be scary. It was a great start to their west coast road trip but it doesn’t get any easier with a match up against the Los Angeles Kings coming on Tuesday, followed by games against the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators. Another win at Staples Center and this could become a turning point in their season.
For the Los Angeles Kings it pretty much looks like business as usual. Their 9-5-4 record to start the season is rather unimpressive, but anyone who has followed the Kings over the last several years knows that that means nothing come playoff time. It almost seems like the Kings are bored during the regular season and do just barely enough to sneak into the post season and turn their game on. This hockey club thrives under adversity and thrives in big spots and a Tuesday night November match up against the Florida Panthers probably isn’t going to do much for them. Still this is a team that is loaded with good hockey players and the next few games gives them an opportunity to get things going back in the right direction. Los Angeles is also coming off a game against the Ducks that saw them emerge victorious in overtime. A few days after the teams played a wild one in Anaheim that saw the Kings fall 6-5 it was Los Angeles’ turn to return the favor on home ice. Anze Kopitar’s power play goal in the third period tied the game for the Kings and Jarret Stoll won it with a power play goal of his own in the extra session. Tyle Toffoli scored his eight goal of the season shorthanded in the second period. Jonathan Quick is just 8-3-4 to start the season but his .938 save percentage is tops in the league. Quick should be in much better shape against the Panthers in this one with the defense he has in front of in. Florida won’t be able to skate circles around the Kings defenseman in this one.
Los Angeles is a big favorite in this one and rightfully so but the Panthers are coming off their best game of the season. If the Kings stymie them in the defensive zone like they do so many teams they should be able to come away with a multiple goal victory in this one.