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Kings look to right ship against Panthers

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


SUNSHINE STATE: Tonight marks the second and final meeting with the Panthers this season, and the only visit to Florida’s BB&T Center. The Kings beat the Panthers 4-1 on November 7 at STAPLES Center. Florida is playing the fourth of a five-game home stand, where they’ve gone 1-1-1 thus far, they’re coming off of a 5-4 OT loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night. The Kings are playing the fourth of a five-game road trip, where they’ve gone 1-2-0 through three games, and are coming off of a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.

LINEUP: With tonight’s game being the second of a back-to-back set, the Kings held an optional morning skate at the BB&T Center. Jordan Weal remained on the ice for extra work, so it doesn’t look as though he’ll slide into the lineup for the second consecutive game. Tonight’s projected line combinations are far from being 100% clear. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and is expected to start in goal.

FORWARDS

PEARSON – KOPITAR – GABORIK
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
BROWN – SHORE – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – ANDREOFF – NOLAN
(WEAL)

DEFENSEMEN

MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – MCBAIN
(FORBORT)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX: Through the first three games of their current road trip, the Kings have taken 16 penalties, allowing the opposition four power play goals. “If we have the puck we’re not going to be taking penalties,” Drew Doughty told Jon Rosen Monday morning. “We’re turning over too many pucks, then that causes us to maybe do a little bit too much of a panic, try to make up for that mistake, and in return, gives you a penalty.” The Panthers have the NHL’s fifth-best power play coming into the night, chiming in with a 22.2% success rate.

STREAK STOPPIN’: For the first time since the opening week of the season, the Kings have lost consecutive games. Although games out East early in the season may not seem to be the biggest of deals, they certainly hold a stake in the standings after 82 games. "A lot of us were here last year when we let it slide and, as a result, were not playing at the end of the year,” Dustin Brown said. “The good thing about tonight is we have an opportunity to right the ship.” Can the Kings rebound to get back to .500 on the road trip?

Morning in Sunrise, Fla

A photo posted by LA Kings (@lakings) on

BABY VS BLOGGER: Who does TRH baby pick to win tonight’s game? Read the entire Royal Half Gameday Preview HERE!

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous meeting against the Panthers on November 7 at STAPLES Center, they overcame an early one-goal deficit, responding with four unanswered goals to win the game 4-1. The Kings’ last visit to Florida’s BB&T Center, on February 5 of last season, saw them lose to the Panthers 3-2. Jamie McBain scored, registering his 100th NHL point, as did Marian Gaborik, but Florida scored two goals in the final 13 minutes of regulation the secure the win. In 13 games against the Panthers in Florida since they came into the league prior to the 1993-’94 campaign, the Kings are 4-6-0-3.

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 4:00 PM PST on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from the BB&T Center for puck drop just after 4:30. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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