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Jan 11, 2024 10:27 pm

Panthers’ streak hits 9 with OT win vs. Kings

Sam Reinhart scored a power-play goal with 0.7 second left in overtime as the host Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to nine games, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Thursday night in Sunrise.

It’s the third-longest streak in Panthers history. It’s also tied for the longest active streak in the NHL.

Reinhart, who scored by lifting a backhander from point-blank range, leads the Panthers with 30 goals.

The Kings, who have lost seven straight games, got goals from Drew Doughty and Trevor Moore. All-Star Cam Talbot made 37 saves, but he lost his sixth straight contest.

Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for the Panthers, who got 31 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky, who ranks among the top four in the NHL in wins (21-9-1).

Los Angeles opened the scoring with 13:43 left in the first period. The sequence started with Talbot stopping Bennett’s grade-A chance.

The Kings came right back as Kevin Fiala put a great move on Panthers defenseman Niko Mikkola. Bobrovsky made the save, but Moore ultimately cleaned up the rebound, lifting the puck past the goalie and Mikkola.

Talbot kept the Panthers off the scoreboard the rest of the period despite a shot by Bennett that hit the left post. Reinhart also had a golden opportunity, but he missed the net on a breakaway.

The Panthers finally got on the board with 9:02 left in the second on a give-and-go rush by Bennett and Eetu Luostarinen. Bennett started the attack before dishing to his left and heading to the net. Luostarinen put the return pass right in front for Bennett’s tap-in goal.

Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead on Doughty’s blast with 21 seconds left in the second. The sequence started when Aaron Ekblad was whistled for a questionable holding call on Pierre-Luc Dubois.

The Kings scored just seven seconds into their power play. Anze Kopitar won the faceoff and got the puck to Doughty, who fed Adrian Kempe. Doughty then took the return pass and fired his shot from the point; it went in off Bobrovsky’s right arm, thanks in part to Kopitar’s screen.

With Bobrovsky pulled for the extra attacker, Florida tied the score 2-2 on Tkachuk’s deflection of Carter Verhaeghe’s shot.

That set it up for Florida’s overtime dramatics as a cross-check by Kempe gave the Panthers the crucial man advantage.

–Field Level Media

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