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Kings Vs. Panthers: Florida Back In First Place After 3-1 Win Over Los Angeles

The Florida Panthers are back in first place in the Southeast Division, after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Thursday night at Bank Atlantic Center. The Cats and Washington Capitals are tied with 61 points each, but with Florida having played one less game, the Panthers move back into first in the division and the three spot in the playoff race.

After being shutout in Washington on Tuesday, the Panthers finally broke through in the second period when Sean Bergenheim and Mike Santorelli spotted Kevin Dineen's club a two-goal lead. Florida is undefeated this season when taking a multi-goal lead into the final period, and that held up on Thursday.

Drew Doughty cut the lead in half for LA with a little under three minutes to play, as he beat Scott Clemmensen on a feed from Anze Kopitar. But that would be all for the Kings, as Matt Bradley added and empty netter to seal the deal. Florida will look to carry over the momentum on Saturday in New Jersey when they face the Devils.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Panthers, check out Litter Box Cats, SB Nation's Florida Panthers blog. For more on the Los Angeles Kings perspective, visitJewels from the Crown, SB Nation's Kings blog. For all your NHL news, visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.