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Florida Panthers, Kings Enter Tonight’s Game on Differing Paths



Panthers kings
The Florida Panthers are celebrating 1990s night at the arena tonight as they play host to the Los Angeles Kings.

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings enter their game Thursday night riding a different trail.

Florida has won its past eight games and returns home from a flawless four-game road trip.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, is in Sunrise and has lost its past six (0-3-3) after giving up a two-goal lead in the third period Tuesday against the host Lightning.

Despite that, the Kings are still comfortably in third place in the Pacific Division and are not feeling too down on themselves after picking up three points in overtime.

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“Our team mojo for six losses in a row isn’t terrible, actually,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said.

“We’re feeling good. We just need to be more consistent, we need to learn how to hold onto leads and how to win games in overtime once in a while. That mojo is actually not too bad and I thought we had a great pre-game skate today. So I think we’re gonna be really ready to go tonight.”

The Panthers, meanwhile, are looking to build off of the momentum of the successful road trip as they play their first home game of the New Year.

“I think the game we played on the road wasn’t overly defensive,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “I don’t think it was a sit-back.

”I don’t think there’s a difference between the road game that we played and the home games where we get a little different matchup. We don’t want to change. You go on the road, and sometimes you got the line that you’re not selling tickets tonight. Keep it simple. OK, but that’s the game we’re trying to play, too, because it’s really, really fast and you can be aggressive in terms of scoring way more goals when we play that way.

“So I don’t want to see our game change. And what I’m saying here is that we’re not just going to play a passive, shrinking defensive game. That’s not our game at all.”

Panthers Celebrate the 1990s Tonight Against Kings

The Panthers have been winning games exactly the way they want to throughout their winning streak.

They are creating chances in the offensive zone off the cycle game while limiting rush chances on the other end.

As a result, their top-6 has been hot.

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Three of the Top 10 point scorers in the league are Panthers.

Matthew Tkachuk leads everybody with 12 points while Carter Verhaeghe is fifth with eight and Sam Reinhart is seventh with seven.

Florida hopes to keep it going against a Kings team which features a ton of defensively-sound depth in its center corps.

“You learn a lot from those guys,” Panthers captain Sasha Barkov said.

“Obviously, playing against Anze Kopitar, but all of the other guys there are similar type of two-way players. You learn from them every shift you play against them or watch them play. They’re great players and fun to play against and fun to learn from.

“It’s gonna be a good challenge for us against that team.”


Nick Cousins is still dealing with symptoms from a concussion he sustained on Jan. 2, per Maurice.

Cousins will not begin on-ice activity until the symptoms are gone.

  • The starting goalies for tonight: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Cam Talbot.



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-145); Puck line (-1.5, +160); Over/Under 6.5 (+105/-130)
  • Last Season: Los Angeles won 2-0
  • This Season (Kings Lead 1-0) — At Los Angeles: Kings 2, Panthers 1 (Nov. 17). At Florida: Thursday.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Los Angeles leads 26-14-0, 3 ties


17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell  // 94 Ryan Lomberg

67 Will Lockwood//82 Kevin Stenlund // 12 Jonah Gadjovich

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion)

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz

Returned to AHL Charlotte: Mackie Samoskevich


55 Quinton Byfield // 11 Anze Kopitar // 9 Adrian Kempe

12 Trevor Moore // 24 Phillip Danault // 22 Kevin Fiala

78 Alex Laferriere // 80 Pierre-Luc Dubois // 34 Arthur Kaliyev

91 Carl Grundstrom // 46 Blake Lizotte // 61 Trevor Lewis

44 Mikey Anderson // 8 Drew Doughty

84 Vladislav Gavrikov // 3 Matt Roy

5 Andreas Englund // 21 Jordan Spence

39 Cam Talbot

31 David Rittich

Scratched: Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Brandt Clarke, Phoenix Copley

Injured: Viktor Arvidsson (lower body)

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