LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Greene started the Los Angeles Kings’ big second period by swooping in on net for a slick goal. Robyn Regehr finished it with a booming slap shot for another score.
At least their teammates were pretty sure it was Greene and Regehr wearing those jerseys. Two defensemen who hadn’t scored a goal all season came through on the same night to boost the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Jeff Carter had a power-play goal and an assist during Los Angeles’ four-goal second period, and Jonathan Quick made 30 saves in the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Greene and Regehr both scored their first goals since last winter to bookend the Kings’ highest-scoring period of the season. Greene started it off with his first goal since Oct. 19, 2013, nimbly shoveling home a pass from Brayden McNabb.
“At first, I didn’t think it was Greener,” a bemused Anze Kopitar said. “I didn’t know he had that in his repertoire.”
Regehr capped the rally with his first goal since Feb. 26, finding the net in Los Angeles’ second straight victory after losing seven of nine.
Marian Gaborik and captain Dustin Brown added power-play goals for the Kings, but the champs were mostly thrilled for two guys who don’t often dent the scoresheet.
Greene hadn’t scored in 47 regular-season games and 20 playoff contests, while Regehr had played 34 regular-season games and eight postseason games since his last goal.
“It’s good to see Robyn and Greener score,” coach Darryl Sutter said. “They don’t get much credit, and they give you the blue collar every night. They deserve it.”
Los Angeles’ power play has five goals in two games after managing just one score in its previous nine games and only six in the first 17 games of the season.
Jimmy Hayes and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Panthers, who have lost five of seven. Roberto Luongo stopped 21 shots in two periods before Al Montoya relieved him for the third.
Staples Center fans gave a standing ovation to Florida captain Willie Mitchell, who left the Kings as a free agent last summer after playing a key role on Los Angeles’ two championship teams. Mitchell received his second ring from the Kings before the game.
“It was really cool to get an ovation like that from people appreciating what you tried to give to the organization and to the city,” Mitchell said. “The relationships I had here are going to go long past our playing careers.”
Florida didn’t build on its surprising 6-2 victory at Western Conference-leading Anaheim two nights earlier. The Panthers trailed 4-0 before Hayes and Jokinen scored the club’s first goals against Los Angeles since Feb. 9, 2012.
Florida forward Rocco Grimaldi played in his second hockey game of the day. The Los Angeles-area native suited up Tuesday morning for the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in San Antonio before catching a plane to the coast as an emergency replacement for Aleksander Barkov, who fell ill.
“In the first and third periods, I thought we matched them shift for shift and did some really good things,” Grimaldi said. “We had some good grind shifts and were playing strong defensively. Obviously, they’ve got a good power play over there, and they got a few on us that kind of put the dagger in us.”
After Greene opened the scoring, Carter capitalized on a pass from Dwight King for his seventh goal of the season, just his second in 11 games. Gaborik knocked in his own rebound a few minutes later, scoring his third goal of a slow-starting season.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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