PANTHERS (26-36-8) at KINGS (39-25-6)
TV: FS-F, FS-W
Last 10: Florida 4-5-1; Los Angeles 7-3-0
Big story: The Panthers continue a four-game West Coast trip in Los Angeles and have two wins in their past 10 road games. The Kings earned their first win on a five-game homestand by beating the Washington Capitals 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday. They are trying to strengthen their hold on the Pacific Division's final automatic spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Panthers: Goalie Roberto Luongo started the first two games for the Panthers on their current road trip, including a 2-1 loss against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday, and likely will be in net against the Kings. Luongo already has lost to the Kings three times this season, all when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
The Panthers had 10 shots and a goal in the third period Thursday, but their comeback effort fell short.
"The guys didn't quit. They kept pushing back and had quite a few scoring chances in the third. We had good opportunities," coach Peter Horachek said after the game.
The Panthers allowed a quick power-play goal Thursday, something that has been plaguing them all season. Florida is ranked 30th in penalty-kill percentage at 75 percent and has allowed 55 power-play goals, including at least one in each of the past seven games.
"I'd like to stop allowing the first power play to score within 10 seconds. It seems like that happens quite often," Horachek said.
Kings: Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak Thursday with its seventh shootout victory of the season, earning an important two points.
"It's very important. It's the start of playoff hockey right now. Every game is important, every point is important," said forward Marian Gaborik, who assisted on the Kings' lone goal in regulation and had the deciding goal in the shootout. "We just have to bear down and are good down the stretch."
Goalie Jonathan Quick, who had 21 saves to earn his record-tying 171st career win in a Kings uniform, expressed his game plan for how the Kings can beat the Panthers on Saturday.
"We gave up less than [the Capitals], we scored more than [the Capitals]. That's what it takes to win, so we have to do that again on Saturday," Quick said.
Who's hot: Luongo has stopped 72 of 76 shots in his past two starts. Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes has seven points in seven games (four goals, three assists). … Kings forward Anze Kopitar has three goals in his past five games. Gaborik has points in three of his past four games.
Injury report: Panthers forwards Tomas Kopecky (concussion), Aleksander Barkov (knee) and defenseman Alex Petrovic (upper body) are on injured reserve. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson (knee) and forward Jesse Winchester (lower body) are out indefinitely. Forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body) and Sean Bergenheim (lower body) did not play Thursday. … The Kings have no reported injuries.