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Kings Win Ugly Against Panthers

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It wasn’t pretty, but the Kings will take their 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers breaking their four-game losing streak and seven losses in their last eight games.

“We got tired of losing,” left winger Kyle Clifford said after scoring his first NHL point on the game-tying goal by Peter Harrold in the third period.

Despite that mindset, fans could have been easily fooled in the first period as passes were missing their intended targets, shots were blocked by the Panthers defense and loose pucks were being lost. And the Kings 25th ranked home power-play team looked particularly awful as they got an early chance 3:16 in the first period and managed only one shot while giving up a shot to the Panthers.

The Kings finally got it together on one shift when on a breakaway that was denied Justin Williams passed the puck from the right boards behind the net to Jarret Stoll who knuckled the puck into the net at 10:24. The Panthers aided with some lucky bounces and the lack of Kings defenders on the weak side of the play tied the game with Michal Repik’s first goal of the season some three minutes later.

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“I thought we were a little tentative in the first period,” head coach Terry Murray said. “We just weren’t doing the right thing getting caught in between. We came back out in the second and got our feet going.”

Whatever was said in the locker room during that first intermission must have lit something under the Kings players as they started to look as crisp as they have in a month on offense. They have many scoring chances that just fell short and had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Most notable was Justin Williams on a breakaway with a straight shot to the net hindered by a Panthers defender tugging him down with the referees seemingly oblivious.