Los Angeles at Florida
When: 5:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 23, 2019
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
The Florida Panthers look to rebound from a demoralizing loss last time out as they continue their quest to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race Saturday night when they host the struggling Los Angeles Kings. The Panthers had won three in a row and nine of 13 games before coughing up a third-period lead and suffering a 4-3 setback against Carolina on Thursday.
“Right now every game for us is crucial,” Florida captain Aleksander Barkov told reporters after his team fell double digits out of the second wild card in the East. “It doesn’t matter who we play against, but of course it’s tough to lose the game like that when it’s a four-point game and a team we’re chasing. But we just need to keep our heads up and look to the next game.” Barkov is doing his part with nine points in the last three games as the Panthers look to take advantage of the Western Conference-worst Kings, who have won five of the last six meetings with Florida. Los Angeles, which is open for business with the trade deadline just a few days away, has lost six in a row (0-4-2) to take away any chance of joining the crowded playoff chase after a 2-1 setback at Nashville on Thursday. “We’re just not good enough right now,” Kings forward Dustin Brown told reporters. “We’ve got to figure it out, individually, how to be better and collectively, to be better. … We have a lot of guys who are learning on the fly right now. I think it’s a good opportunity for guys to play in these games.”TV:
5 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), FS FloridaABOUT THE KINGS (23-31-6):
Captain Anze Kopitar tops the team in goals (17) and has posted 13 of his club-high 44 points in the last dozen games, but no one else on the team has reached 34. Brown and former Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty are next with 33 points while forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Iafallo each have two goals in the last three games to push their totals to 13 - second on the team. Tyler Toffoli did not post a point in his past four games and fellow forward Jeff Carter has been kept off the scoresheet in five straight for Los Angeles, which is second-to-last in the league in scoring (2.37).ABOUT THE PANTHERS (26-25-8):
Barkov tops the team with 62 points and fellow forward Jonathan Huberdeau is next with 58 after recording three goals and three assists in his last three contests. Mike Hoffman leads Florida with 26 goals and had an assist Thursday to reach 50 points for the fourth consecutive season while Evgenii Dadonov registered five of his 47 points in the past four contests. Veteran Roberto Luongo (12-13-1, .895 save percentage) could make his first appearance between the pipes since Feb. 12 after being on bereavement leave and seeing James Reimer win three of his past four starts.OVERTIME
1. Los Angeles G Jonathan Quick has allowed 16 goals in his last four games, but is 8-2-0 with a .941 SP career versus the Panthers.
2. Florida D Mike Matheson (lower body) is day-to-day, but D Mackenzie Weegar returned Thursday after missing a week because of illness.
3. The Panthers are third in the league on the power play (25.7 percent) and the Kings rank 30th in penalty killing (74.9).PREDICTION:
Panthers 5, Kings 2
Stats and Records