Kings ride special teams in Florida
2 power-play goals, short-handed marker key 4-3 shootout win
Defenceman Jack Johnson scored the only goal in the shootout and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Monday night.
Johnson and Jarrett Stoll scored power-play goals and Randy Jones scored short-handed for the visiting Kings, who came back from a 2-0 deficit and closed out a five-game road trip at 3-2.
"I just wanted to make sure we got the two points," Johnson said. "In that situation, it's you against him (the goalie) and you want to make it count."
Johnson's rush in the final 10 seconds of overtime was the best scoring chance for either team in the extra period. He lost control of the puck after beating defenceman Jordan Leopold and skating in alone on Tomas Vokoun.
In the shootout, he scored after Anze Kopitar shot wide on Los Angeles' first shootout attempt. Johnson beat Vokoun after a deke to his forehand.
"I definitely wanted to help the team win in any way I could, whether it was in the overtime or the shootout," Johnson said. "I'm glad it worked out for us."
Jonathan Quick finished with 26 saves for Los Angeles, which beat Florida for the fifth straight time since Oct. 26, 2001.
Nathan Horton, Cory Stillman and Victor Oreskovich scored for the Panthers. Tomas Vokoun, who came in with three shutouts in his previous five starts, stopped 31 shots for Florida.
"Obviously, shootouts are a lottery," Vokoun said. "They're fun to win, but they're not so much fun to lose. We came out on the short side today, but this game should have been won in regulation."
Quick stopped Rostislav Olesz and Steven Reinprecht before clinching the victory with a stick save on Stillman's backhand off a deke.
First NHL goal
Los Angeles scored three consecutive times before Oreskovich tied the game 3-3 at 14:55 with his first NHL goal. Bryan Allen's shot from the point went off someone in front of the net and floated to the side. Oreskovich put the puck down and into the open net.
Jones had given the Kings a 3-2 lead at 7:58 of the third. With teammate Alexander Frolov in the penalty box for goaltender interference, Jones scored off a rebound when Vokoun couldn't control Michal Handzus's high slapshot.
Johnson began the Kings' comeback at 9:10 of the second with a slapshot from just inside the blue-line.
Stoll tied the game 2-2 at 2:23 of the third period with a slapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle. He scored off a feed from Kopitar, who came into the game as the NHL's scoring leader with 31 points.
"Last year, we might have packed it in after being down 2-0," Quick said, "but this year we have shown a lot of character."
Horton opened the scoring at 2:05 of the second with a power-play goal. He beat Quick over his right shoulder with a wrist shot from the wing.
Stillman scored 1:35 later on a 2-on-1 set up by a beautiful pass from Dennis Seidenberg from deep inside the Florida zone to Steven Reinprecht just inside the Kings blue line. Reinprecht then fed Stillman for a one-timer tip-in.
"I think the deciding factor for me was in the second period when we had two or three opportunities to extend the lead to three and put them away," said Panthers coach Pete DeBoer. "We didn't do that. That's why we only ended up with a point."
Los Angeles outshot Florida 10-7 in a scoreless first period, but the best chance belonged to the Panthers' Rostislav Olesz. He hit the post with a backhand off a rebound.
Kings left-winger Ryan Smyth sustained an upper-body injury in the third period and did not return.