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Kings at Panthers preview

Martinez expected back for Los Angeles; Florida seeks fifth straight win

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

KINGS (29-19-5) at PANTHERS (23-22-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-W, NHL.TV


The Game

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is expected to return to the lineup when they face the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday to begin a season-long, seven-game road trip.

Martinez missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury.

Jonathan Quick could start for the Kings, who have won two straight, with each game being started by backup Darcy Kuemper, including a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

The Panthers, who have won four in a row, including a 3-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, look to match their longest winning streak of the season. They won five straight from Dec. 19-30.

Harri Sateri, who has a 1.50 goals-against average and .950 save percentage during the winning streak, will make his sixth consecutive start.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has four goals and 13 assists in his past 14 games.

Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has three goals in his past two games.


They said it

"This is the first game of a long road trip and it's important to get off to a good start. This group has done a really good job of focusing on the task at hand the day that we're in and then we'll get ready for tomorrow (against the Tampa Bay Lightning) after this one is complete." -- Kings coach John Stevens

"He's afforded us the opportunity to, one, keep playing him. He's earned it. And not rush anybody back. It's a nice little luxury we have right now." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner on Sateri's performance in the absence of Roberto Luongo and James Reimer 


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Torrey Mitchell -- Trevor Lewis

Andy Andreoff -- Michael Amadio -- Jonny Brodzinski

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Alec Martinez -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Marian Gaborik, Nick Shore, Kevin Gravel

Injured: Jeff Carter (lower body)


Panthers projected lineup

Evgenii Dadonov -- Aleksander Barkov -- Nick Bjugstad

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Vincent Trocheck -- Denis Malgin

Jamie McGinn -- Jared McCann -- Maxim Mamin

Micheal Haley -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen -- Alex Petrovic

Harri Sateri

James Reimer

Scratched: Connor Brickley, Radim Vrbata, MacKenzie Weegar

Injured:  Roberto Luongo (lower body)


Status report

The Panthers will use the same lineup from Tuesday … Reimer will be in uniform for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 23. … Gaborik was a healthy scratch the past two games.


Stat pack

Florida is 15-0-0 when leading after two periods. … Los Angeles leads the NHL in penalty killing with an 85.2 percent success rate. … The Kings' 30 victories in overtime since the 3-on-3 format was adapted at the start of the 2015-16 season are five more than any other team in the NHL (Calgary Flames, 25).

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