Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Los Angeles leads 1-0

Game 1: Wednesday, November 5th
Kings3Final
Panthers2

Kings 3

(6-5-0, 12 pts)

Panthers 2

(4-7-0, 10 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 5, 2003

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
LA 1 2 03
FLA 0 1 12

Z. Palffy (Kings - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

V. Kozlov (Panthers - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

L. Visnovsky (Kings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Kings take advantage of power plays

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings ended their struggles in Florida.

Roberto Luongo

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo couldn't stop the Kings Wednesday night.

Derek Armstrong and Trent Klatt scored power-play goals and the Los Angeles Kings won at Florida for the first time, beating the Panthers 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Jonathan Sim also scored for Los Angeles, which was a combined 0-4-3 at Miami Arena and the Office Depot Center.

"I read that before the game," Kings forward Luc Robitaille said. "It was a good win tonight. We needed a win."

Roman Cechmanek made 33 saves for the Kings to improve to 6-1-1 lifetime against Florida.

"I know they beat us in the only game we played last year in L.A., so maybe they had the Kings' number," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "It's nice for us to turn the corner on it."

Rookie Nathan Horton and Mike Van Ryn scored for Florida. It was the second goal in two games for Horton, the third overall pick in this year's draft.

Roberto Luongo made 23 saves in his first start in three games for the Panthers.

The Kings had seven power-play opportunities in the first two periods, while Florida had only two.

"We had nine penalties in the first two periods," Panthers forward Kristian Huselius said. "It's tough to come back and get the momentum. If we're going to be in the box all day long, we're not going to win many games."

Armstrong, who spent time in the minors in each of his previous 10 seasons of professional hockey, scored his fifth goal of the season in the first period when he took Luc Robitaille's pass in the slot and one-timed a shot that beat Luongo to the glove side.

"I've always gotten points my whole life," Armstrong said. "I just try to help out as much as I can."

Klatt made it 2-0 at 3:59 of the second when he tipped in Lubomir Visnovsky's slap shot.

A non-call helped Los Angeles increase its lead to 3-0 at 11:29 of the second period.

After Dustin Brown tripped Mikael Samuelsson behind the Florida net, Sim picked up the loose puck, skated to the side of the net and his shot went off defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's stick and floated over Luongo's left shoulder.

Horton got Florida on the board when he came in alone on Cechmanek, lost his balance but pushed the puck between the goalie's legs after falling to the ice.

Van Ryn scored on a slap shot from the point at 8:23 of the third period while Florida was on a five-on-three power play.

"I thought we were solid tonight," Murray said. "I was happy with our third period. We gave up six shots in the third period. We knew Florida would throw everything at us in the third, and for us to give up only six shots -- we played pretty well defensively."

Game Notes: Florida RW Valeri Bure returned after missing 11 games because of a groin injury. His assist on Van Ryn's goal was the 350th point of his NHL career. ... Florida C Byron Ritchie will miss about four weeks after being diagnosed with a Grade 3 sprain of his left knee, an injury sustained in Saturday night's 6-2 loss to San Jose. ... Kings D Joe Corvo served the last game of a three-game team suspension, stemming from his recent guilty plea to a felony count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault and battery.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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