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game recap

Montembeault hangs on to complete Panthers' win against Kings

Makes 22 saves after Driedger leaves in first period with injury

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Boyle extends the lead

LAK@FLA: Boyle wires home wrist shot from the slot

Brian Boyle scoops up the loose puck in the slot and fires a wrist shot into twine to pad the Panthers' lead to 4-0 in the 3rd

  • 00:30 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sam Montembeault made 22 saves after coming off the bench when the Florida Panthers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Montembeault entered the game 10:05 into the first period after starter Chris Driedger left with a lower-body injury.

"It wasn't your traditional way of going about it, but it was a big win for him and us," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "He was comfortable at the beginning of the game. He did some good things. They played well in front of him."

 

[WATCH: All Kings vs. Panthers highlights]

 

Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Matheson scored power-play goals for the Panthers (25-16-5), who led 4-0 before the Kings scored three goals in the final 8:18.

Video: LAK@FLA: Dadonov buries feed from Huberdeau for PPG

Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists, and Jack Campbell made 22 saves for the Kings (18-26-5), who have lost three straight and are 1-5-1 in their past seven.

"It's the desperation part that kicked in in the third period, second half of the third," Kopitar said. "We've got to figure out how to bring that to the start of games."

Driedger was starting in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who missed a second game because of a lower-body injury he sustained in practice Saturday. Montembeault was recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League under emergency conditions Sunday and Wednesday.

"I've been running around a lot," Montembeault said. "I had three flights in three days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. At least I had a chance to get a good practice yesterday and I skated this morning too. Obviously I wasn't expecting to play in that one, but it turns out we played very well and we had a good win."

Dadonov gave Florida a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 6:04 of the first period. He redirected Jonathan Huberdeau's pass to the front of the net after every Florida player touched the puck on a passing sequence.

Frank Vatrano made it 2-0 at 3:06 of the second period when he one-timed Dominic Toninato's drop pass at the top of the right circle.

"We did good on the power play, we had one of those long goals that's really special," Quenneville said. "I think everyone touched it at least once. We moved it around crisply and had a nice finish to it. [Toninato's] pass over to Frankie was a perfect pass and a nice goal as well. After that, we're in a pretty good spot. We have to make sure we close that out in a better way."

Matheson made it 3-0 at 4:55 of the third period with a slap shot from the point, and Brian Boyle scored at 7:06 to make it 4-0.

Alex Iafallo made it 4-1 when he scored on a deflection at 11:42. Jeff Carter and Kopitar each scored a power-play goal, at 15:08 and 17:20, to get Los Angeles within 4-3.

"We were pretty sluggish right off the bat," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Just some mental mistakes. We weren't playing well right off the bat, and that's what set us off on the wrong foot and then we were chasing the game from there. But with 10 minutes left, [coach Todd McLellan] just kind of said, 'It's 4-0, let's start doing things right, setting up for the next game,' and we almost came back. I actually thought we were going to come back. We were close there. Good fight till the end, but not a good 60 minutes."

Video: LAK@FLA: Matheson hammers a shot from the point

 

They said it

"The comeback part is in our DNA. It's been there for the whole year. It shouldn't go anywhere. It should always be there. That part, I tip my hat to the guys. But everything else that went into the game, I'm really disappointed. The details that we had and the adjustments we tried to make in the first period were nonexistent. It's like the guys weren't even in the meeting. That's real important. The first goal, we take a penalty a mile away from our net, pull a stick out of some guy's hand that doesn't even have the puck. The mistakes we made after that … disappointed. We haven't shown that in a long time." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

"We feel pretty good. Up until the last (10) minutes there, we were really buzzing and making things happen. I think we'll just forget about the end of that, learn from it and move on. It's great to have these wins and good to do it at home." -- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad

 

Need to know

Doughty led all skaters playing 28:02. ... Quenneville said Driedger would be evaluated Friday but could miss some time, but with Bobrovsky close to being ready, the coach said he did not anticipate the Panthers calling up a goalie. ... Panthers forward Mike Hoffman extended his point streak to seven games (five goals, four assists) with an assist on Vatrano's goal.

 

What's next

Kings: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m.; TVAS, NBCSP, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Panthers: At the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-D+, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Montembeault helps Panthers hang on to defeat Kings

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