After the 2nd period:
Kings 2, Florida Panthers 1
The good: The Kings grabbed a two-goal lead on a power-play goal by Dustin Brown with 5:47 left in the second period. Kings rookie defenseman Slava Voynov set up the scoring play up with a perfect blue line-to blue line pass to Brown as he was cutting into the offensive zone. Brown lifted his head when he reached the left faceoff circle and shot the puck past goalie Jose Theodore for a 2-0 lead. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who has 28 saves, earned his sixth career assist on the play. The Kings came into the game having killed their last 18 penalties and they’re 6-for-6 so far tonight, including killing off a 35-second 5-on-3 in the second period. The Panthers will have another 53 seconds remaining on a double-minor penalty to Mike Richards.
The bad: The Kings will be without veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell for at least the rest of this game because of a lower-body injury. Mitchell played only one shift in the opening period, so it’s unclear if he was injured then, or he was just testing something out to see if he could go. Mitchell has been one of the team’s most consistent defensemen when on the ice, but he has been injury prone. With the Kings short-handed on defense, the rest of the blue-liners need to play it smart. Drew Doughty went to the penalty box for the second time 2 ½ minutes into period, and Matt Greene followed 85 seconds later, leaving the Kings with just three available defensemen for a spell. The Kings can’t afford to have Richards, their leading goal scorer, sitting in the box for four minutes either. It was Greene and Richards who were unable to connect on a clearing pass, allowing the Panthers to regain possession in their offensive zone and score on a goal by Sean Bergenheim with 4:21 left in the second period.
The in between: Midway through the period, Colin Fraser of the Kings and Bracken Kearns of Florida dropped their gloves. Fraser, who grabbed the fourth-line center role four games ago and hasn’t given it back, got the best of Kearns, who made his NHL debut earlier this season at the ripe age of 30, dropping him with an overhand right.