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The Los Angeles Kings picked up an important victory against the Florida Panthers last night, winning 5-4.
After a quiet first half of the opening frame, the Kings found themselves down midway through the period, when Rasmus Kupari turned the puck over on an exit and Florida went back on a rush the other way, as Ryan Lomberg beat Jonathan Quick with a nice shot. The Kings were outshot 10-6 and exited the frame down a goal.
Kupari made up for the turnover in the second period though, taking a pass from Kevin Fiala in front and beating Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the game. However, Florida took the lead back only 18 seconds after Kupari’s goal, with Carter Verhaeghe driving down the wing and banking the puck in off Mikey Anderson’s skate. The back-and-forth continued though and only 34 seconds after Florida went up 2-1, Viktor Arvidsson just spun and threw the puck on net and it was tipped in by Trevor Moore, tying the game.
The Kings continued to press, and while it looked like Florida may have taken back the lead later in the period off a goal from Matthew Tkachuk, it was waived off due to goalie interference. Then after putting 21 shots on Bobrovksy in the frame, the Kings managed to take the lead only two minutes later, as Viktor Arvidsson buried a pass from Anze Kopitar to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Florida did tie it early in the third period though, as Sam Reinhart found Eetu Luostarinen, who managed to beat Quick. However, only just over a minute later, Matt Roy sprung Blake Lizotte on a breakaway with a nice pass and while Lizotte’s initial shot was stopped, he followed up to bury the rebound, giving Los Angeles the lead again.
The scoring continued soon after though, as both Gabriel Vilardi and then Matt Roy lost the puck deep in their own end, and Matthew Tkachuk found Verhaeghe in front, who tied the game. We saw a pretty even frame after that but later in the period, Alex Edler’s point shot missed the net and it came out to Vilardi on the other side, who put it past Bobrovsky, giving the Kings the lead with only about three minutes left. The Panthers did press after that but couldn’t convert and after Matthew Tkachuk poked his stick into Quick’s mask at a late stoppage, the game essentially ended with a scrum, centered around Quick and Tkachuk.
It’s an important win for Los Angeles against a good opponent, following two straight losses. The Kings put together a strong second period and a good back 40 minutes overall.
Tkachuk putting his stick into Quick’s mask was a terribly dirty play, but he’s since been suspended for it.
A positive for the Kings lately is that they’re getting contributions from most of their forward group. They got an even strength goal from each of their lines in the win and pretty much every forward on the team is chipping in offensively this season.
So the Kings are up to a 7-6-1 record, which gives them the eighth highest points percentage in the Western Conference. They’ll be back in action on Tuesday for the second game of their homestand, when they face the Minnesota Wild.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
Kings drop back down to .500 following 5-2 loss to Stars
Kings come up short against Blackhawks, lose in overtime