The Los Angeles Kings have no problems going to overtime to win games, but didn’t need to on Sunday against the Panthers.
The Kings picked up their fourth win of the year, but first in regulation as a pair of second-period goals was enough to beat host Florida 3-0.
Los Angeles also scored in the third period, but that goal was no more than showing off as the Panthers didn’t put up much of a fight as they were on the wrong end of a shutout for the second time this young season.
Backup goalie Ben Scrivens now has three shutouts in his career. Two of them have come against the Panthers over the past three seasons. This one took just 20 saves to make.
“We had nothing,” Tomas Fleischmann said. “Everything we tried to get around the boards didn’t happen. They didn’t give us much. We knew they would force every line and they did. Our second effort wasn’t there. We just couldn’t find anything. I don’t think we made it very hard for [Scrivens] to get a shutout. That is on us.”
Even though the Kings are used to playing on West coast time, Sunday’s early afternoon start seemed OK.
The Panthers obviously didn’t warm to waking up — and never really did. The snooze button was hit repeatedly Sunday as the Kings went about their business.
The Panthers came out with a decent start but then showed little. Florida just six shots on Scrivens in the opening period — none of which came in the final nine minutes of the first.
Scrivens was making his second appearance of the year, but first start in favor of Stanley Cup hero Jonathan Quick.
“Getting off to a good start hasn’t been the issue,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “It’s been the level of consistency in our competitive battles. That’s a team that recently won the Cup and have a formula that’s very simple. They are a big, strong, physical team.
“As the game wore on, we got worn down. That will happen. But our hockey IQ dropped. You can not play a fancy game against the Kings, Blues or many teams in the NHL and have success.”
The Kings were opportunistic guests in the second as they quickly made off with the game by scoring twice within a span of six minutes midway through the period.
Daniel Carcillo, who won the Cup with Chicago last summer, took a slick feed from Mike Richards and wristed a shot past Jacob Markstrom (26 saves) at 8:46 of the second.
Justin Williams got in on the act not long afterward as he charged through the slot and popped Anze Kopitar’s pass past Markstrom for a 2-0 lead.
Florida had a rare scoring chance early in the third as Brad Boyes broke loose but his shot didn’t have much on it and Scrivens knocked it away.
After that, all the Kings needed was a breakaway goal from Jordan Nolan off a Jarret Stoll feed for a 3-0 and a win against a Panthers team that didn’t seem all that interested in playing Sunday afternoon.
“They are a tough team to crack and sometimes you win games like this 1-0,” Brian Campbell said. “They shut things down pretty good. We have to find a way.”
Center Nick Bjugstad was taken off the injured reserve list on Sunday and Dineen said he’s being considered to play Tuesday in Nashville.
Bjugstad, who suffered a concussion in a prospects game on Sept. 8, is expected to practice with the Panthers on Monday and a decision could be made on his status following that.
The Panthers were expected to have the 6-6 Bjugstad start the season in the minor leagues. That could still happen, although the Panthers’ offensive concerns could lead Bjugstad back to the Panthers earlier than previously thought.
“He will be an option for us on Tuesday night,” Dineen said. “We’re having that discussion. We’re looking for big, strong bodies and he’s a guy who fits that mold.”
This and that• Former Panthers defenseman Keaton Ellerby didn’t play Sunday as he has been a healthy scratch by the Kings in all six games this season.
Ellerby was sent to the Kings for a late-round draft pick last season after playing 125 games with the Panthers over the course of four seasons.• The Panthers will practice Monday morning at the Coral Springs Iceplex at 10:30 a.m. The workout is free and open to the public.
• Jonathan Huberdeau limped off the ice after apparently being struck by a puck in the second period. Huberdeau did return.