Panthers Move Back into First Place

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers bounced back from two road losses to regain first place in the Southeast Division.

Sean Bergenheim and Mike Santorelli scored in the second period, sending Florida 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. Shawn Matthias had two assists.

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. The Panthers also overtook Washington for first place — the Capitals lost to Winnipeg 3-2 in a shootout.

“I felt it was an important game. It was a really key game for us tonight, but more than that we need to stay relevant,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “We want to stay part of the picture.”

Drew Doughty scored for the Kings and Jonathan Quick made nine saves. Quick was replaced by Jonathan Bernier to start the third period, and he stopped 11 shots.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn’t offer a specific reason for pulling Quick.

“No big deal, just something different,” Sutter said.

The Kings have scored one goal or no goals six times in their last 10 games. They are the lowest-scoring team in the NHL with 119 goals.

“It’s more of the same for us,” said Dustin Brown, who had an assist on Doughty’s goal. “We’ve got to find ways to score more goals.”

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Bergenheim’s goal. Marcel Goc brought the puck toward the net but lost control of it. The puck then glanced off the skate of a Kings player and back to Bergenheim. His slap shot from the high slot beat Quick on the glove side at 4:52.

Source: ESPN