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Panthers want to end road trip with win against Kings

by Adam Kimelman /

PANTHERS (5-5-3) at KINGS (8-5-0)


Season series: The Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings split two games last season, with each team winning at home. Panthers forward Brandon Pirri scored with 3:05 remaining in the third period to give them a 3-2 win at BB&T Center on Feb. 5. Kings forward Marian Gaborik scored the game-winner Nov. 18 in their 5-2 win at Staples Center.

Panthers team scope: Florida lost the first two games of its California road trip, but coach Gerard Gallant said Friday that a win against the Kings, which would end a four-game losing streak (0-2-2) would send the Panthers home happy. "We can salvage a good road trip by winning in L.A. and hopefully having a good game," he said in a video posted on the Panthers website. "No surprise what they're going to do. They're going to battle, both sides of the puck. They're a physical team, they play real well. We've just got to make sure we get back to playing our game. We didn't play it the other night and we need to be better." Forward Dave Bolland, who didn't play in a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday because of an upper-body injury, skated Friday and will be a game-time decision, according to Gallant.

Kings team scope: Coach Darryl Sutter changed the look of some of the forward lines at practice Friday, putting Nick Shore between Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar between Tanner Pearson and Trevor Lewis, according to Other lines saw Jeff Carter between Milan Lucic and Tyler Toffoli, and Jordan Nolan centering Kyle Clifford and Andy Andreoff. However, Sutter said those lines were not indicative of how the lineup could look Saturday. "I'm not really set on anything," he said. Defenseman Matt Greene practiced but Sutter said he's not ready to return to the lineup. Greene has been out since Oct. 13 because of an upper-body injury. Christian Ehrhoff was paired with Greene for part of practice but that doesn't mean he'll be the odd-man out Saturday. "Trying to get Matty all over," Sutter said. "Our defense had a tough night [Thursday, a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets]."


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