Run n' gun offense is back in LA! After disappearing on Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Los Angeles Kings' offense made a triumphant return Saturday, putting five past the Florida Panthers.
Florida opened up the scoring off a Rasmus Kupari turnover in the first and the game stayed quiet until halfway through the second. A 52-second flurry of three goals blew the game wide open, starting with Kupari redeeming his earlier mistake, finishing on a brilliant feed from Kevin Fiala. The teams would trade blows for the rest of the game before Gabe Vilardi capitalized on a bounce off the end boards with 3:18 remaining.
Vilardi walked us through the goal post-game:
"It was a tied up draw, I tied up my guy and Kopi ended up winning it. Eddy took a shot and it went wide and I kind of read that it was going wide. I got a lucky bounce, it came out just on the other side of the goal line. I knew that [Bobrovsky] was coming late to the post, so I just tried to beat him under the glove and it ended up going in."
It was a big win for the LA Kings, who had lost two straight, but it was far from perfect.
"Ups and downs in that game, it was good offensively and Quickie was great, but there’s some stuff to button up defensively and we know that," said Trevor Moore. "We’re working on it and we’re getting better."
Florida's Matthew Tkachuk finished the game in a way that only Matthew Tkachuk can. Causing a near-line brawl, that even got Lady Byng winner Anze Kopitar involved in the festivities.
Tkachuk got his stick into the mask of Jonathan Quick with 37 seconds remaining, then got engaged with Quick in the crease with less than one second remaining. It was the second incident that drew a crowd and earned Tkachuk a ten-minute misconduct. It was also a hot topic in the locker room.
"You can look at the video. It's a dirty play," said Matt Roy. "You can see him poke Quickie in the eye there. Hopefully, the league takes a look at it. It's a dirty play. Hopefully, the video gets out and they can look at it."
"That’s what he does," said McLellan. "It makes him a good player, it makes him a villain. Do we like the poking in [Quick]’s facemask? Of course, we don’t, but I don’t think it’s anything that we can deal with. Now other people have to look at it."
The general feeling around the room was, that's what Tkachuk does and it's out of the King's hands now what happens. It was announced that Tkachuk would have a hearing with NHL player safety Saturday morning. I'm sure Brendan Lemieux has Jan. 27, marked on his calendar now.
The LA Kings are back in action on Tuesday, hosting the Minnesota Wild. While the Panthers take on the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night.