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Kings' Johnny Brodzinski notches first NHL goal in triumph over Panthers

AP

It was almost like old times as Los Angeles Kings winger Johnny Brodzinski and Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad shared the ice again.

They were linemates from youth hockey all the way through Blaine High School in Minnesota. They were opponents this time when Brodzinski scored his first NHL goal to help lead the Kings to a 4-0 win over the Panthers on Saturday.

Brodzinski scored on a backhander at 2:23 of the third to beat James Reimer top shelf.

“It was a great feeling,” Brodzinski said. “Getting a few shots every game, not a lot of grade-As, but finally found a little bit of (space) there in the slot and got one away.”

Backup goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots for the Kings for his eighth career shutout and first since Jan. 21, 2016, with Minnesota.

Los Angeles scored three goals in the third period to put away Florida and end a four-game losing streak. All those losses came at home after the Kings went 11-2-2 in its first 15 games.

Brodzinki’s goal started the third-period fireworks. It wasn’t how he figured he’d scored his first goal, either.

“I’ve imagined it in my mind for quite some time. I just thought it was always going to be a forehand shot,” Brodzinski said.

The Panthers had won their two previous games and didn’t imagine this result either, especially after they had 14 shots on goal in the first period.

Bjugstad was happy for his friend and planned to chat with him after the game.

“Would’ve rather had it happen against a different team at a different time, but congrats to Johnny,” Bjugstad said.

“His career has been good so far,” Bjugstad added. “His college career was awesome. The sky is the limit for him if he keeps going. Super nice kid.”

Tyler Toffoli scored at 8:14 of the first period on a delayed penalty, beating Reimer for a tap-in goal, his ninth of the season. Alex Iafallo battled to protect the puck behind the net to help set up the goal, and Drew Doughty made a nice pass to Toffoli. Dustin Brown also assisted.

Andy Andreoff scored from in front of the net, putting the puck between Reimer’s legs with 4:41 remaining. Trevor Lewis added an empty-netter for the fourth goal.

Islanders 5, Lightning 3

In Tampa, Anders Lee scored twice and New York Islanders held on after nearly blowing a four-goal lead.

John Tavares had a goal and two assists, and Andrew Ladd and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders (11-6-2), who ended Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak and handed the Lightning (15-3-2) just their third regulation loss. Josh Bailey had three assists and Thomas Griess stopped 36 shots to improve to 4-0-1 in his last five starts.

Yanni Gourde had two goals and Ondrej Palat had the other for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 27 saves.

Predators 5, Avalanche 2

In Nashville, Craig Smith had a goal and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 29 saves and the hosts beat Colorado.

Colton Sissons, Anthony Bitetto, Mattias Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators, winners of six of seven. Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala and P.K. Subban each had two assists.

Andrei Mironov had a goal and an assist and J.T. Compher also scored for the Avalanche, who have lost four of five. Semyon Varlamov had 19 saves.

Blackhawks 2, Penguins 1

In Pittsburgh, Artem Anisimov scored a power-play goal in the third period, and Chicago continued its winning streak against the Penguins.

Anisimov scored his 10th goal of the season just 21 seconds after Pittsburgh tied the game. Gustav Forsling scored his second for the Blackhawks, who won their eighth straight against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

The Blackhawks have won three of their last four games after taking two of their previous seven.

Corey Crawford made 35 saves for Chicago, including a right-pad stop on Phil Kessel in the final 20 seconds.Capitals 3, Wild 1

In Washington, Alex Ovechkin returned from taking a puck to the face, T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist and the Capitals snapped Minnesota’s winning streak at four.

Behind goals from Oshie, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov and 30 saves by goaltender Braden Holtby, Washington stopped its skid at two and won its fifth consecutive game at home.

Ovechkin was bloodied in the second period when a puck ramped off his stick and into his face, but Washington’s captain got some repairs and was back on the ice for the start of the third. He set up Kuznetsov’s goal late in the period.

Nino Niederreiter scored for Minnesota, which lost for the first time since Nov. 8. Backup Alex Stalock stopped 40 of 43 shots in his first career start against the Capitals.

Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 0

In Montreal, Ron Hainsey and Nazem Kadri scored 37 seconds apart in the second period, Frederik Andersen stopped 33 shots for his second straight shutout, and Toronto whipped the Canadiens for its sixth straight win.

Auston Matthews had two goals, and James van Riemsdyk and Connor Brown also scored for the Leafs.

Toronto was coming off a 1-0 overtime win over New Jersey two nights earlier in which Andersen had 42 saves.

Charlie Lindgren finished with 22 saves, giving up five goals for the second straight game. He was replaced at 9:39 of the third by Antti Niemi, who stopped three of four shots he faced in his first game for Montreal since he was claimed off waivers this week.

Blues 4, Canucks 3 (OT)

In Vancouver, Brayden Schenn scored at 2:41 of overtime to give St. Louis a victory over the hosts.

Colton Parayko, Vladimir Sobotka and Joel Edmundson scored in regulation for Western Conference-leading St. Louis. Paul Stastny had three assists and Jake Allen stopped 20 shots.

On the winner, Schenn cut through the neutral zone and across the blue line and beat Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson high on the blocker side for his eighth goal of the season.

Hurricanes 3, Sabres 1

In Buffalo, Sebastian Aho scored with 4:45 remaining to lift Carolina over the Sabres for its third straight win.

Justin Williams scored in the second period and Joakim Nordstrom added an empty-netter. Scott Darling had 24 saves for the Hurricanes, who are 4-1-1 in the last six games since losing four in a row.

Evander Kane scored for Buffalo, which has lost five straight. Chad Johnson stopped 30 shots.

Flames 5, Flyers 4 (OT)

In Philadelphia, Sean Monahan had the first hat trick of his NHL career, and Michael Frolik scored 1:18 into overtime to give the Calgary the victory over the Flyers.

Johnny Gaudreau added a goal and two assists and extended his points streak to a career-high nine games for the Flames, who won for the sixth time in eight games.

Goaltender Mike Smith, who returned from an upper body injury, turned aside 35 of 39 shots to earn his 10th win for the Flames (11-8-0).

Coyotes 3, Senators 2 (OT)

In Ottawa, Anthony Duclair tallied in overtime to complete a hat trick and Arizona beat Ottawa for its second straight victory.

Antti Raanta made 30 saves to help the Coyotes improve to 4-15-3.

Mark Stone and Mark Borowiecki tallied for the Senators, and Mike Condon stopped 25 shots.

Stars 6, Oilers 3

In Dallas, Ben Bishop shut out Edmonton over the last 39 minutes after Kari Lehtonen was pulled, and the Stars routed Edmonton.

Bishop made 17 saves after replacing Lehtonen early in the second period with Edmonton leading 3-2.

Devin Shore lit the lamp to tie it 3-3 with his first goal this season, and Radek Faksa scored with 1:26 left in the second to put Dallas ahead.

Jets 5, Devils 2

In Winnipeg, Patrik Laine, Jacob Trouba and Matt Hendricks scored in a 95-second span, and the Jets beat New Jersey for their fourth straight win.

Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault also scored during Winnipeg’s five-goal second period, and Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves. Mark Scheifele and Joel Armia each had two assists, helping the Jets improve to 7-2-1 at home this season.

Bruins 3, Sharks 1

In San Jose, Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead Boston over the Sharks.

Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen scored to help the Bruins get their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-3-1). Boston had totaled nine goals in its previous five games, scoring more than two for just the second time in nine November games.

Khudobin remained unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) and improved to 4-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average in five games against the Sharks.