Saturday, February 18, 2017

Panthers Edge Kings

     The Florida Panthers swept the California portion on their road trip with a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday night. The Panthers reached a season-high winning streak of four games and have won seven of their last eight games.
      The Panthers moved up into a playoff spot to third place in the Atlantic Division with the victory. Roberto Luongo tied former Panthers goalie Ed Belfour for fourth all-time with 963 NHL games played. The Cats last won a game in Los Angeles on November 27, 2002.
     Florida(27-20-10) waited until 4:55 left in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Vincent Trocheck  put a cross-ice oass in the neutral zone to Aleksander Barkov and he crossed the Kings line. His no-look pass to the left side was blasted in by Jonathan Huberdeau from the top left circle past Peter Budaj. Huberdeau has four goals in six games since he made his season debut on February 3.
     In the second period, Jussi Jokinen gave the Panthers a two-goal margin at 1:14 with ninth goal of the season. Reilly Smith and Alex Petrovic were credited with assists on the play.
     Los Angeles(28-25-4) was able to get on the scoreboard at the 5:39 mark. Nick Shore got bumped off the puck in the crease area, then Dwight King gained control and put it by Luongo at the side of the crease.
     The Kings tied the contest 2-2 with 8:04 remaining in the second. Tanner Pearson compiled his 19th goal of the campaign and Jeff Carter got the primary assist.
     It took just 15 seconds into the third period for Florida to regain the lead 3-2. Barkov nailed his 14th goal of the year on assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aaron Ekblad.

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