Game Day #71: Panthers @ Kings Preview and Gamethread

LUUUUUUUUUUUUOOOOOOOOOONGOOOOOOOOOOO! (I am a preview, and I am also a gamethread)

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Los Angeles Kings v Florida Panthers (Staples Center)

Time: 1:00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Litter Box Cats

Panthers (projected) lineup:

Bergenheim-Bjugstad-Boyes
Upshall-Trocheck-Fleischmann
Howden-Pirri-Crabb
Barch-Gomez-Hayes

[UPDATE: Late change as Sean Bergenheim, previously injured, returns to the lineup.]

Campbell-Gilbert
Kulikov-Jovanovski
Olsen-Robak

Luongo
(Ellis)

Injured: Tomas Kopecky, Aleksander Barkov, Jesse Winchester, Alex Petrovic, Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau; Scratched: Garrett Wilson

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Williams
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
King-Stoll-Brown
Clifford-Richards-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Mitchell-Martinez

Quick
(Jones)

Injured: none (!!!); Scratched: Matt Greene, Jordan Nolan

Game Notes:
  • After three tries, Jonathan Quick equaled Rogie Vachon's franchise record for victories by a Kings goaltender. There isn't a whole lot of suspense as to whether he's going to break it (as his contract runs until approximately 2048), but it'd be nice to do it at home against Roberto Luongo. For the sake of nostalgia.
  • Oh yeah, Roberto Luongo! Luongo singlehandedly stole a game for Florida against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, and he's 3-3-1 since the trade from Vancouver. He has, however, given up two or more goals in six straight starts; Florida's defense is at least partially to blame.
  • Granted, they've had 25ish fewer years to work on it, but Florida's goaltending history is even uglier than ours. Their wins leader: yup, Luongo.
  • One year ago, Darryl Sutter was asked why Drew Doughty doesn't do one-man breakouts more often. His answer?
    You’re Brian Campbell in Florida. You’ll be minus-20 and we’ll see you on the highlights.
  • Put up or shut up time for Mike Richards. I don't realistically expect him to spend the entire game with Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis, but we'll see whether he gets out there in important situations. If the game is close in the third, will Sutter trust him?
  • .... Or, will Sutter stick with the kids? Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli put in solid performances against the Washington Capitals, and they'll play with Jeff Carter today as a result.
  • Player to watch: Brandon Pirri. Pirri was traded away from the Chicago Blackhawks after failing to earn a regular spot there, but he's flourished in Florida so far with seven points in eight games. He's playing with two players whose first names I had forgotten before writing this (Quinton Howden and Jimmy Hayes), but he's dangerous.
  • He also had an excellent quote when discussing his trade. Via the Miami Herald:
    It’s hard to explain, but this is a great opportunity.
    Work on that whole explanation thing, Brandon.
  • ~Fun with Numbers~ from Extra Skater! The Panthers haven't been a bad possession team this year, but their performance has slipped since the trade deadline.
  • Sitting on 60 points in 70 games, the Panthers are solely playing for pride at this point. They also can barely field a healthy team right now. The Kings should win this one.
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