The Kings came out hot, with defenseman Jack Johnson scoring his fifth goal of the season with assists by Anze Kopitar and Matt Greene just under two minutes into the game.
The Panthers are skating five forwards down, as Marcel Goc, Scottie Upshall, Matt Bradley, Kris Versteeg and Mikael Samuelsson are all out with injuries. Bracken Kearns joined the Panthers from San Antonio earlier in the day, joining Tim Kennedy, Evgeni Dadonov and Mark Cullen as the Panthers roll 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
On a related note, how tough is Dmitry Kulikov? The defenseman had his calf skated across just two days ago. He required several stitches and team doctors were concerned for possible infection. Some media outlets were saying he would be out one to two weeks, but there he is, all heart on skates.
The Panthers proved unable to solve Jonathan Quick in the first, peppering the Kings netminder with 13 shots on goal to nine from the Kings.
The Kings outhustled the Cats throughout the first, garnering 19 hits to only four for the Panthers.
Stay tuned to see your Cats try to come from behind after the break.