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Kings-Panthers Preview: Scratching at the Door

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Since we last made Kevin Dineen very steamed...

IN: Jose Theodore has gotten over his knee troubles, sending Brian Foster back down.

OUT: Injuries are the big story here. Ed Jovanovski (hand), Scottie Upshall (hernia), Dmitry Kulikov (knee), Jack Skille (shoulder), Marco Sturm (knee) and goalie Jacob Markstrom (knee) are all out. If I were playing, I'd be worried about the fate of my lower joints.

Litter Box Cats has this lineup:

Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
Samuelsson-Goc-Bergenheim
Matthias-Madden-Kopecky
Bradley-Santorelli-Barch

Campbell-Gudbrandson
Weaver-Garrison
Stratchan-Ellerby

In net: Clemmensen was announced as the starter yesterday, but the Sun Sentinel noted that Theodore might get the start instead.

Kings lineup: No apparent changes. The Alec Martinez showcase continutes, but -- noooooo, don't trade him!

Game outlook: The Panthers are currently in 9th place, just out of the playoffs, and are hoping to keep those hopes alive while they wait for reinforcements. They are a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of puck possession when the score is close (15th).

The Kings have been outshot in all three games of this road trip, but at least three of their grade A scoring chances hit the net in Tampa Bay in gratifyingly normal fashion. Normal is good. We approve of normal.

The Panthers don't like Mike Richards, and Mike Richards would like to feast on their still-beating hearts. This could get snarly.