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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Kings 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 2 1 0 3
Kings 0 0 1 0 1
FLA - S. Bergenheim (10), M. Santorelli (7), EN - M. Bradley (3)

LAK - D. Doughty (5)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Sean Bergenheim and Mike Santorelli scored in the second period, sending the Florida Panthers to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Matt Bradley also scored for the Panthers and Scott Clemmensen stopped 22 shots. Florida beat the Kings for the first time in eight tries, snapping a seven-game losing streak to them that dated to Nov. 27, 2002.

"Sometimes it's like that. It's very easy to get frustrated playing against that team. It wasn't by any means the prettiest win. Not at all. But we knew what to do, we followed the game plan. We're happy about that. It showed something about our team."

- Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim
1. Wait For It...: If you were looking for offense heading into this game, then you might have had another game in mind. Florida entered the contest with 131 goals, tied with Buffalo for second fewest in the East (just in front of the NY Islanders). Los Angeles on the other hand entered the game with a leage low 118 goals on the season. And for the majority of two periods, it looked like one goal might win it as the two teams played suffocating defense. Los Angeles actually had 11 shots on net in the opening period, compared to Florida's five. In the second, the two teams' defenses went into overdrive limiting the offenses to nine shots on net (six for Florida). The offenses did open it up in the third combinging for 21 shots (12 for the Panthers).

2. Picking Their Spots: Looking like the Panthers and Kings would struggle to get their first goal of the game, Sean Bergenheim changed that 4:52 into the middle period. Taking the drop pass bouncing puck through defenders legs after Marcel Goc made a nice play around a Kings defender on the rush, Bergenheim fired a shot past Jonathan Quick off the post and top shelf. The goal was scored on the Panthers' seventh shot of the game. Holding onto a 1-0 lead with time running down in the second, Mike Santorelli scored his seventh of the season as he fired a shot from the slot past Quick with 2:46 left on the clock after being set up nicely by Tomas Fleischmann. That goal came on the Panthers 11th shot of the contest.

3. Drought Stopper Leads To Flip Flop: The Panthers had found limited success against the team from Los Angeles in recently history. In fact, Florida had last beaten the Kings on November 27, 2002, resulting in a string of seven straight defeats (0-6-1). While Scott Clemmensen's bid for a shutout came to an end with 2:28 to play in the game as Drew Doughty beat him with a quick shot, Matt Bradley gave the Cats their first victory over Los Angeles at home since October 26, 2001 as he scored an empty net goal with 49 seconds to play. That victory helped Florida leapfrog Washington and back into the third place in the conference. Both teams are currently at 61 points on the season after the Capitals fell to the Jets in a shootout Thursday but the Panthers have one less game played.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@LilMissRatTrick: Nice to end the day with a win. Loved seeing lots of rats on the ice tonight! #FlaPanthers #BelieveRed

@Ewener: Great win on home ice tonight! Now it's time to bring back the #FlaPanthers #roadwarriors for our playoff push!

@parrothead34: Great win tonight for the #FlaPanthers . . . . Teach Me How to Bergie, Teach Me Teach Me How To Bergie #1stStar

@ssaammm_: Washington losing and #FlaPanthers winning makes us the #FirstPlaceCats !! Great game tonight boys! #WeBelieveRed

@monicant: #FlaPanthers win. I throw my mini rat at my TV. #WeSeeRed #weseerats #BelieveRed

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Amy Riley: Awesome game. So glad I was there. Gotta love Bergy

Herman Nadal: Two words: Florida Panthers

Joseph Willig: awesome game! i was right behind the bench!!

Leonard Albritton: Congradulations to our Panthers this year...they are putting something special together.

Jay Brandt: Awesome win and a Capitals shoot out loss make for a good night. Gotta go get em in Jersey Saturday ---- keep it up ----- GO CATS!!!!!!!

John Cruz: uh-oh.... not another 'year of the rat' x-p

2. Center Shawn Matthias knotched two assists on the night, the only player to do so. It was his fifth multi-point game of the season. One of those assists came on Mike Santorelli's eventual game-winner in the second period. For Santorelli, it was his first game-winner of the season, second of his career.

7. Having tasted defeat the previous seven times at the hands of the Kings entering the game (0-6-1), Florida earned the victory, their first since November 27, 2002.

9. Florida and Los Angeles combined for just nine shots in the second period. Two of the six Panthers shots however found the back of the net.

12. Picking up the second assist on Sean Bergenheim's second period goal, Mike Weaver notched his 12th assist of the season. That gave him a career high in assists, surpassing last year's 11. Collecting the primary assist on the play, Marcel Goc registered his 12th point of the season in just 31 games. He has nine points (3-6-9) in the 13 games since coming back from injury.

24. Scoring the first goal of the game means points for the Panthers. That was the case when Bergenheim scored the game's first goal in the second period. With the win, Florida is now 18-1-6 on the season when scoring the game's first goal.

Scott Clemmensen
After giving up five and four goals in the previous two games (both losses), it was great to see Scott Clemmensen bounce back with a solid outing as he turned aside 22 of the Kings 23 shots.

23 Shots, 22 Saves, .957 SV%
The Panthers will hit the road for two weekend matinees as they travel to New Jersey and then to Long Island. In Saturday's 1pm start, Florida will face a red-hot Devils team that had won five straight. That was before falling 4-3 to Saint Louis in the shootout Thursday night. It will be the fourth and final game between the two teams his season (Florida is 1-1-1 to date). New Jersey is led offensively by Patrik Elias (53 points in 53 games), Ilya Kovalchuk (52 points in 49 games) and Zach Parise (48 points in 54 games). In goal, Martin Brodeur (18-12-2 with a 2.67 goals against average) and Johan Hedberg (13-7-2 with a 2.53 goals against average) have split time.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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