The Kings choked the life out of the Florida Panthers on Sunday afternoon in Sunrise, Fla., handling them with a dominating performance that featured Ben Scrivens’ first start in goal, Daniel Carcillo’s first goal with the club and Justin Williams’ 500th career point. The Kings’ 3-0 victory gave them a 2-0 record to start their four-game trip. Here are three things worth noting about their 3-0 victory over the Panthers:
1. All the talk out of Toronto to start the season was how well Jonathan Bernier has played in net for the Maple Leafs. The Kings dealt Bernier to Toronto for Scrivens and forward Matt Frattin last summer, giving him a chance to compete for a No.1 goalie position, something he had zero chance of achieving as long as Jonathan Quick was with the Kings. Scrivens showed the Kings did not get swindled in the deal. He turned away all 20 shots the Panthers attempted. It wasn’t exactly an easy day, but the Kings eased his burden by playing keepaway with the Panthers. The best offense was a sustained attack for the Kings, who won all the little battles necessary to take a three-goal win. “You can’t give enough credit to the guys in front,” Scrivens told reporters in Florida. “They played extremely well, and all I had to do was focus on stopping the puck and seeing it well.”
2. There’s often a method to the madness of Kings coach Darryl Sutter. Putting tough guy Daniel Carcillo with skillful linemates Mike Richards and Jeff Carter is another case in point. Carcillo scored his first goal as a King, off a beauty of a no-look pass from behind the net by Richards. Carcillo was below the goal line with Richards, fighting for a loose puck, but then retreated into prime shooting range once his teammate gained control. Carcillo buried his chance, completing a superb play for the Kings’ first goal.
3. Williams is a shadow standout for the Kings, the third member of a line that features team captain Dustin Brown and top center Anze Kopitar. He’s never been a superstar in the league and probably won’t ever be thought of in those terms. He’s a depth guy for the Kings, and a very valuable player on their roster. You don’t get to score 500 points in the NHL without having some skills, and Williams certainly has all the tools. His give-and-go with Kopitar was a picture-perfect example of what he brings to the Kings.