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Game Day #51: Kings @ Panthers

32 MUST-WIN GAMES COMING RIGHT UP!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers v Los Angeles Kings (BB&T Center)

Time: 4:30 PM PST

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy Reading: Litter Box Cats

Lineups:

Florida Panthers

Jokinen–Bjugstad–Hayes
Huberdeau–Barkov–Boyes
Pirri–Bolland–Fleischmann
Kopecky–MacKenzie–Upshall

Campbell–Ekblad
Kulikov–Gudbranson
Kampfer–Petrovic

Luongo
(Montoya)

Scratched: Bergenheim, (Shawn) Thornton; Injured: Mitchell :(

Los Angeles Kings

Gaborik–Kopitar–Brown
King–Carter–Toffoli
Clifford–Stoll–Williams
Lewis–Shore–Nolan

Muzzin–Doughty
Martinez–Greene
Regehr–McBain

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: Andreoff, McNabb; Injured: Pearson; Suspended: Voynov

Notes:

  • Andreoff? Shore? We're not sure which forward gets press box seating today, but expect them to play seven minutes or less.
  • Meanwhile, power play dynamo Jamie McBain moves back into the lineup after the Kings were shut out on Tuesday. As per club policy, Darryl Sutter will bench the other "Mc" in response.
  • Willie Mitchell suffered a leg injury against the New York Islanders, so we're denied the pleasure of seeing him play tonight. Maybe he saw the Kings were struggling and decided to do them a favor by sitting this one out? (His injury is only day-to-day.) At any rate, we'll have to sustain the memory of his return to Staples in November, because this is the last time they'll face each other...
  • ... unless they match up in the Stanley Cup Final, of course. Both teams sit at 54 points, and each faces a different obstacle; Florida sits comfortably in ninth in the East but has a seven-point gap to make up, while LA's only five points out but are battling with three other teams in a similar spot. Fan spirits are falling fast, and if the Kings want to get the 6 points we wanted out of this trip, they need a win tonight.
  • Gonna be interesting to see how #1 draft pick Aaron Ekblad fares without Willie Mitchell on the ice, as this is is Ekblad's first NHL game with Mitchell out of the lineup. Ekblad has an impressive 29 points in 49 games this year.
  • PREDICTION: The loser of this game starts panicking. A lot.