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game recap

Panthers remain perfect on road trip

Aleksander Barkov scores go-ahead goal early in third period against Kings

by Forrest Lee / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal for the Florida Panthers 15 seconds into the third period of a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Jussi Jokinen scored, and Roberto Luongo made 33 saves for the Panthers (27-20-10), who are 4-0-0 on their five-game road trip, 7-1-0 in their past eight games and in third place in the Atlantic Division. Barkov also had an assist.

It was Florida's first win in Los Angeles since Nov. 27, 2002.


WATCH: All Panthers vs. Kings highlights


"I think it was important to get the [first] goal in the third period," Huberdeau said. "It was a really nice goal by Barkov. It's a big win, I think, and we're playing well right now."

Dwight King and Tanner Pearson scored, and Peter Budaj made 22 saves for the Kings (28-25-4), who have lost four of their past five games and are two points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Huberdeau scored at 15:05 of the first period to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. He beat Budaj from the left faceoff circle after Barkov backhanded the puck to him on the rush.

"It was important (to score first). Obviously, every time you play back-to-backs, when you can play with the lead, it's a little bit easier," Jokinen said, referring to Florida's 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Video: FLA@LAK: Jokinen snaps wrister past Budaj

Huberdeau has eight points (four goals, four assists) in six games since returning from an Achilles injury sustained in a preseason game.

"We know they're a really physical team, but we have a really good structure (and) I think we can play in front of the goal too," Huberdeau said. "We're not the biggest guys, but I think we have some grit, and we showed that in this game. It's really a huge win for us."

Jokinen gave Florida a 2-0 lead at 1:14 of the second period. Reilly Smith retrieved the puck from behind the net and passed it to Jokinen, who scored from the right circle.

"I thought once we took the lead the Kings put some pressure there in the second period and were able to tie it up," Luongo said. "We had a really strong third period and we kept putting pressure on them and spent a lot of time in their zone."

Los Angeles cut the lead to 2-1 when King scored at 5:39 of the second. King beat Luongo on the rebound of a Trevor Lewis shot during a scrum in the crease.

Video: FLA@LAK: King beats Luongo amid traffic in front

Panthers coach Tom Rowe challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was upheld after video review showed Florida defenseman Mark Pysyk caused Los Angeles forward Nick Shore to contact Luongo.

Pearson tied the game 2-2 at 11:56 of the second.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter remains one victory from tying Andy Murray (215) for first on their all-time wins list. Sutter coached his 400th game with Los Angeles.

"We chased the lead again," Sutter sad. "Battled back, played hard, gave up a goal to start the third."

Shore said the Kings missed an opportunity.

"They just made a couple more plays than us," Shore said. "Definitely had our chances. If we actually finished on a few of them, the game's a little different."

Video: FLA@LAK: Pearson stickhandles and slides puck home


Goal of the game

Though he didn't earn an assist, Jaromir Jagr initiated the rush leading to Huberdeau's goal. The 45-year-old forward moved the puck up to the red line for Vincent Trocheck, who slipped it to Barkov at the Kings blue line for the nifty backhand pass that set up Huberdeau.

Video: FLA@LAK: Huberdeau rips home pinpoint snipe


Save of the game

Luongo gloved a shot from the slot by Kings center Anze Kopitar on a power play at 10:58 of the second period.


Highlight of the game

Barkov would not be denied on his goal. He took a one-touch pass from Jagr in the neutral zone, and despite being hooked from behind by Kings center Jeff Carter, he beat Budaj for his fifth goal in five games.

Video: FLA@LAK: Barkov fights off defender to pot slick goal


Unsung performance of the game

Florida defenseman Alex Petrovic had three of 10 blocked shots by the Panthers. He also had three shots on goal and four hits in 21:14.


They said it

"It's been a really big road trip for us so far. Obviously, we have all the players back now and we have a healthy team, so we're playing with lots of confidence. The bottom line is I think we see the playoff picture." -- Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen


"Everybody is healthy, so I think it is a big boost for our club as far as knowing everyone is in the lineup. We are getting results, so we see that we are a pretty good team, and we want to keep it going right now." -- Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo


"We're trying to make the playoffs, where every point counts. Today, we did a good job battling back, but it wasn't enough. There's a lot of teams fighting for the same spot. Everyone wants to make the playoffs. We knew that they're rolling right now. We did a good job battling back."-- Kings forward Tanner Pearson


Need to know

Jagr has two goals and three assists on a five-game point streak. … The Panthers are 5-2-4 in the second game of back-to-back sets. … Pearson has four goals during a three-game goal streak.


What's next

Panthers: At the St. Louis Blues on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-MW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-W, NHL.TV)


Video: Panthers top Kings for fourth-straight win

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