Mere inches was the difference between an overtime period and a loss on Saturday for the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings lost to the Florida Panthers 4-3 on a late third period goal from Jonathan Huberdeau.
Huberdeau was able to sneak the puck just past Jonathan Quick‘s skate, putting it over the goal line by mere inches. The goal doomed the Kings to their 15th loss in their last 17 games.
For all their effort it was for naught, as the Kings gave up the tying goal and then the Huberdeau game winner.
With nothing to play for except for a place in the NHL Draft lottery, the Kings were at a disadvantage. This, though, was not for lack of effort, but because of the Panthers obvious speed advantage.
The Panthers out shot the Kings 35 to 27 and caused the Kings to take five penalties. Throughout most of the game the Kings were chasing the play or just missing opportunities.
Jeff Carter had an assist on the Leipsic goal which earned his 700th career NHL point. However, he expressed his frustration with the teams play after the game.
“It’s the same story every (expletive) game here. Get a lead, give a lead up,” Carter said. “So we can sit here and talk about it, but we’ve been talking about it for a while now.”
Coach Willie DeJardins praised the Kings effort but again acknowledged the frustration of giving up the two late goals.
“Yeah, I thought the first five minutes we were on our heels a little bit. We got a power play goal that got us going, which was huge,” he said.
“We were down going into the third and we were able to battle, get the lead there. It was disappointing giving up the two late ones.”
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Kings had bagpipe band play the national anthem and play through out the game.