As the Florida Panthers were gunning for their fourth straight victory, they received some timely help from their first line in the final few minutes.
For those who tuned in and watched this afternoon, the game was a snoozer in the opening twenty minutes of play.
Florida and Los Angeles were looking rather sluggish to kick-off the game, but it was the visitors who opened up the scoring first.
The Panthers, unfortunately, took their foot off the gas pedal which L.A. took advantage of. It wasn’t long until they tied the game, courtesy of Dustin Brown.
After the opening twenty, both teams brought more energy to the ice, adding more excitement to a rather boring hockey game.
The Cats, this time, applied more pressure after Dadonov’s go-ahead goal, but they were denied solidly from netminder Jonathan Quick.
In the third, however, the Panthers were caught asleep and off guard. Seconds after killing off the Panthers’ power play, Brendan Leipsic brought the Kings level once more at two.
And, shortly after, the Kings took their first lead of the game through Anze Kopitar. In just a span of half a period, the Panthers managed to blow their lead against one of the worst team’s in the league. But now, who was going to come up big and rescue them?
In the final five minutes, Evgeni Dadonov came up clutch with his second of the game, driving to the net and stuffing home a loose puck to even things up at three.
The top line continued their clutch play, taking hold of the hockey game with just under two minutes remaining in regulation.
As the trio was cycling down low, Barkov fed a pass between two Kings defensemen, which found its way onto Huberdeau’s stick.
The moment it hit Huberdeau’s stick, he drove straight to the net and tucked a shot underneath Quick’s pad to give the Panthers a late third-period lead.
The Panthers would hold on ever so slightly at the end to extend their win streak to four games, defeating the Los Angeles Kings by a scoreline of 4-3.
Ultimately, a win is a win and the Panthers got the two points at the end of it, so everything is fine in hindsight, correct? Wrong.
Yes, two points were gained in a late third-period effort, but after all, we’re talking about the Los Angeles Kings – one of the worst teams in the league.
The fact that we blew a lead to them and on top of that, needed our first line to come to the rescue in the end to save us from an embarrassing loss, isn’t really impressive nor anything to be excited/proud about.
This is a team that should’ve been beaten rather easily, without having to expect the top line to work their magic in the dying minutes of the game for a late-period comeback.
The Cats are back in action tomorrow night @ 9 P.M. against the Anaheim Ducks, gunning for their fifth straight victory.