Los Angeles Kings Visit Florida Panthers: Game 53 Preview

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 01: Andrei Loktionov #48 of the Los Angeles Kings is pursued by Sean Bergenheim #20 of the Florida Panthers for the puck in the second period at Staples Center on December 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Florida hopes to avoid their season's first three game losing streak tonight at the BAC against the Los Angeles Kings.

Florida will be hosting the Los Angeles Kings tonight in Sunrise at the Bank Atlantic Center. This is the second of two meetings this season between the two teams, with the Kings winning the first in LA, 2-1 on December 1st. Florida has a 13-5-7 home record, while the Kings are 11-7-6 away from Los Angeles. Florida goes on the road to face the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and the New York Islanders on Sunday. Los Angeles is in the fourth game of a six game homestand. They lost to the St. Louis Blues, 1-0 on Friday and 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday before beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1 on Tuesday. They continue on to play the New York Islanders on Saturday and the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

In the Kings 2-1 victory over Florida on December 1st, Johnathan Quick stopped 41 of 42 shots while Josh Johnson and Dustin Brown lit the lamp for Los Angeles. Sean Bergenheim scored his third of the season and Jose Theodore turned aside 24 of 26 shots in a losing effort. The Panthers played a solid game, said coach Kevin Dineen afterwards, according to NHL.COM:

"They were trying to run around and chase us and hack us, and slash us," Dineen said. "When you're getting outplayed as badly as they were, that's your response. We walk out of here feeling very good about the way we played. Their goalie got them a couple of points.

Panthers @ Kings 12/01/11 (via NHLVideo)

The Panthers were shut out by the Washington Capitals, 4-0 on Tuesday. Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal in the first and an even strength goal in the second, Jason Chimera scored a shortie, and Mathieu Perrault scored the game winner scoring just 13 seconds in. Tomas Vokoun stopped all 32 Panthers shots, earning the shutout. Scott Clemmensen allowed four goals on only 24 shots. The besieged netminder has allowed nine goals in his last two games. Brian Campbell addressed the media after the game, according to NHL.COM:

"We've got to stay positive. We have to up our level, especially tonight. Some nights we're there but other nights we're not."

Panthers @ Capitals 02/07/12 (via NHLVideo)

Los Angeles beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1 on Tuesday behind goals from Anze Kopitar, Kyle Clifford and Dustin Penner. Steven Stamkos scored his 35th of the season in a losing effort. Johnathan Quick stopped 22 of 23 shots, while Tampa Bay's backup goaltender Dwayne Roloson allowed three goals on only 20 shots. According to Kings center Anze Kopitar, according to NHL.COM:

"When we get three, we're pretty safe back there with Quicky. He kept us in the game in the first period when they came hard. He gives us a chance. I've said it many times, but that's all you want from your goaltender."

Season Series: 0-1-0

All-Time Series: 8-11-4

Game Time: 7:30 ET



Florida Panthers: 24-17-11, 59, points, second Southeast Division, ninth Eastern Conference, 16th NHL, on pace for 93 points. Last five: O-W-W-L-L

Los Angeles Kings: 26-18-10, 62 points, second Pacific Division, seventh Western Conference, 13th NHL, on pace for 94 points. Last five: W-W-L-L-W

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