Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau scored the go-ahead goal with 1:56 left in regulation to lead the Panthers to a 4-3 win over the host Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. Huberdeau, who also had a game-tying assist, put in a backhander in close on Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick, scoring his 23rd goal as the Panthers rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit to win their fourth straight.
Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and had an assist, Aleksander Barkov posted three helpers and Mike Hoffman became the first player ever to score 33 goals in his first season with the Panthers. Barkov's three assists gave the center 81 points, setting a career high, and 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in his past five games. Rookie goalie Sam Montembeault (4-0-1) won his fourth straight start by making 24 saves.
Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist, and Brendan Leipsic also tallied for the Kings, who are 2-11-4 in their last 17 games and fell to 7-34-6 when their opponent scores first. Quick stopped 31 shots. With Los Angeles giving Hoffman plenty of room at the right circle on the man advantage in the first period, the winger fired four shots after a tripping penalty was called on Brown.
The final one was a sizzler and the first on goal, beating Quick up high for a 1-0 lead at 4:10, to extend Hoffman's career-high marks in goals (33) and power-play goals (16). Brown redeemed himself immediately with his 18th tally on the Kings' first power play, breaking away and deking a backhander by Montembeault to tie it 1-1.
Playing in his 200th NHL game, Dadonov chipped in a tally at 4:04 of the second period -- his first marker in 10 games -- after Mike Matheson drove through the offensive zone and flipped a puck that Barkov tipped near Quick. Leipsic scored his seventh at 1:05 of the third period to tie it 2-2 when the Kings fired three shots on goal after a 2-on-1 rush following a line mix-up by Florida.
The Kings grabbed their first lead nearly 50 minutes into the contest when Kopitar tapped in his 20th goal from a pass by Brown at 9:44, but Dadonov tied it 3-3 at 13:47 with his 24th goal after a drop-pass by Huberdeau. --Field Level Media