Kings hold on to beat Panthers 4-3 for 3rd straight win
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Adrian Kempe had a shorthanded goal and an assist, Phoenix Copley made a career-high 41 saves and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Friday night for their third straight win.
Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy also scored for the Kings, who led 3-0 midway through the second period.
Ryan Lomberg and Brandon Montour scored in the second round to put the Panthers 3-2, but Roy’s late empty net sealed Florida’s third straight loss.
“We showed great character,” Copley said. “They weathered the storm and then we got our game going.”
Carter Verhaeghe added a last-minute goal for the Panthers and Alex Lyon made 28 saves while making his fourth straight start for the injured Sergei Bobrovsky.
Los Angeles scored twice in over four minutes late in the first period to take a 2-0 lead as Kempe connected with an oddman onslaught while thrashing a power play in Florida.
The Kings scored their second shorthanded goal of the game from Arvidsson to make it 3-0 at 9:58 of the second period.
“We were sluggish in the first game and probably should have stuck with two goals to have a chance,” said Panthers coach Paul Maurice. “Our boys were frustrated with those who couldn’t quite get a handle on them up front, but they didn’t give up.”
Florida made an attack with Lomberg hitting a backhand shot from the slot at 6:37 in the second. Montour followed about three minutes later with a hard slapshot from the left circle.
“When the momentum fluctuates like it did tonight, good teams find ways to win. We did that,” said Kings coach Todd McLellan. “On the negative side, we were 3-0 up and a couple of quick goals got us on our heels. They are a difficult team to play.”
The Panthers temporarily lost top defenseman Gustav Forsling to injury in the second half when his skate was removed from the stick blade by Alex Turcotte as the two went into the corner.
Forsling lost his footing and hit the boards hard, apparently injuring his left leg. He needed help off the ice but returned in the third period.
Turcotte was rated a 5-minute major for boarding.
NOTES: Florida captain Aleksander Barkov has been named to next weekend’s All-Star Game hosted by the Panthers. Barkov replaces Toronto star Auston Matthews, who was out with a sprained knee. “It’s at home here in Florida, so it means even more. I’m really happy, honored and proud to be here,” Barkov said. … With an assist for Verhaeghe’s late goal, Barkov set a career high with points in 10 straight games. … With both of its NHL goalies still out injured, Florida called up Mack Guzda from the AHL to assist Lyon. … Florida fell to 0-17-1 as it fell after two periods.
Kings: In Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
Panthers: host Boston on Saturday night.
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