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Kings outlast Panthers, win on Gabriel Vilardi’s goal

Mar 13, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Florida Panthers center Maxim Mamin (98) goes for a rebound against Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the third period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Vilardi scored on a sharp-angle rebound with 3:18 left as the host Los Angeles Kings beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Saturday night.

Alexander Edler had the primary assist on the go-ahead goal.

Florida’s Sam Reinhart missed off the left post with 6.1 seconds left.

The Kings also got goals from Rasmus Kupari, Trevor Moore, Viktor Arvidsson and Blake Lizotte. Moore and Arvidsson each added an assist, and Anze Kopitar had two.

Florida got two goals from Carter Verhaeghe and one each from Ryan Lomberg and Eetu Luostarinen.

Jonathan Quick made 34 saves for the Kings, and Sergei Bobrovsky also had 34 for the Panthers.

Florida opened the scoring on an unusual play 11 minutes into the first period. The Kings’ Rasmus Kupari high-sticked Rudolfs Balcers, drawing blood. The double-minor penalty was called, but Lomberg scooped up the loose puck, skated in and scored on a high shot from the right circle.

Balcers did not return.

Kupari tied the score with 9:27 gone in the second. Kevin Fiala did a terrific job chasing the puck down in the corner before firing a blind pass to Kupari, whose high shot beat Bobrovsky.

Florida took a 2-1 lead just 18 seconds later as Verhaeghe’s shot deflected in off the right skate of Los Angeles defender Mikey Anderson.

Los Angeles tied the score 34 seconds later. Arvidsson’s shot from the point was tipped in by Trevor Moore. The puck went off Moore’s stick and bounced off the left skate of Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour before trickling in off of Bobrovsky’s pads.

The Panthers nearly took a 3-2 lead on a would-be Montour goal from the point. However, the goal was waved off for goalie interference as Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk brushed up against Quick’s head.

Florida appealed the call. The Panthers were then assessed a penalty when the call on the disallowed goal stood.

On the ensuing power play, Los Angeles scored to take a 3-2 lead with just 26 seconds left in the second. The goal by Arvidsson was a tap-in on the rush after a great pass from Kopitar. Moore got the secondary assist for his crucial pass ahead.

Florida tied the score 3-3 with 18:42 left in the third. Reinhart drew the defense before dishing to Luostarinen, who scored after being left alone inside the left circle.

Los Angeles regained the lead 82 seconds later as Lizotte got past Florida on a breakaway before scoring on his own rebound.

Florida tied the score 4-4 on Verhaeghe’s second goal. He took a pass from Tkachuk, fanned on his first attempt and then found the back of the net.

–Field Level Media