PANTHERS (26-36-8) at KINGS (39-25-6)
1:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
SOFLA TO SOCAL: This is the second and final meeting with the Florida Panthers this season. The Kings won the first matchup, blanking the Panthers 3-0 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. on October 13. This is Florida’s first visit to STAPLES Center since December 1, 2011. The Kings are 8-1-0 against the Panthers in their last nine meetings, dating back to November 5, 2003.
LUONGO: Roberto Luongo is expected to be in Florida’s crease this afternoon. It will be Luongo’s first start against the Kings since he was traded from the Vancouver Canucks on March 4. Luongo started three games against the Kings in a Canucks uniform earlier this season (11/9 – 4GA), (11/25 – 3GA), (1/4 – 2GA), losing each effort. Luongo, though, has stopped 72 of the 76 combined shots he’s faced in his previous two starts for the Panthers in San Jose Tuesday and in Phoenix Thursday.
HISTORY OR JONES?: Jonathan Quick can set a new Kings franchise mark for wins by a goaltender with a win today against the Florida Panthers, if he’s given the start. The Kings have a tough Eastern stretch looming with three games in four nights starting Monday, so backup Martin Jones may be given the nod this afternoon.
Ben Scrivens was in net in the Kings’ previous game against Florida on October 13, shutting out the Panthers with a 20-save performance.
Quick is 3-1-0 in four career starts against the Panthers; Martin Jones has never played against Florida.
MAN-UP: Florida comes into today’s contest dead last in the NHL on the penalty kill, chiming in with a 75% success rate, allowing 55 power play goals through 70 games. The Panthers have allowed at least one power play goal in their previous seven contests. The Kings scored man-advantage goals in three straight games, until failing to execute on three power play opportunities Thursday night against Washington.
COME ON IN: This is Florida’s first visit to STAPLES Center since December 1, 2011, a game that the Kings won 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 41 saves in a splendid performance, while Dustin Brown snapped home the game-winning goal up high and past Jose Theodore late in the second period.
The Panthers haven’t recorded a win at STAPLES Center since November 27, 2002.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 12:30, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at STAPLES Center for puck drop at 1:00PM PT.
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