Panthers take the crown from the Kings; Frank Vatrano signs extension

Teammates congratulate Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck (21) after he scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

For an unusual Saturday game at 5 p.m., the Panthers took on the visiting Kings and the outcome was even more unusual.
Jonathan Huberdeau hit the net early off of a breakaway immediately after leaving the penalty box to take the lead 2-1 for the Panthers.
“That was the difference, I thought, in the game,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “All of a sudden he gets out of the box and he gets a goal and it’s 2-1 and you see the bench automatically stand up a little bit.”
Just before the Panthers took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play, Coach Bob Boughner called a timeout because Cats players showed signs of fatigue and Aleksander Barkov and Keith Yandle responded with goals. Barkov netted his 25th goal at 18:16 for a 3-1 lead. Yandle then pushed it to 4-1 when he scored the second power-play goal, his ninth, at 19:22, through plenty of traffic in front of Quick.
Vincent Trocheck, Jamie McGinn and Ian McCoshen also scored, and Barkov, Huberdeau and Yandle added assists for the Panthers, who have won four of five and are 10-5-0 in their last 15. Florida’s Roberto Luongo stopped 18 shots and tied Ed Belfour for third place in career wins among goaltenders with 484. McGinn and McCoshen scored their first goals of the season in the third period — McGinn at 6:14, McCoshen 28 seconds later — for the final margin.
Just announced Frank Vatrano and the Florida Panthers have agreed on an extension just before the close of the trade deadline. The agreement was for 3-years $76 million.