(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Kings will try to post consecutive wins
for the first time in nearly a month when they host the Florida Panthers in
Tuesday’s battle at Staples Center.
The Kings’ one and only winning streak this season came during a six-game run
from Oct. 12-26. The defending Stanley Cup champions have gone 3-4-3 since
that hot streak ended, but they were able to halt a two-game slide with
Saturday’s overtime victory against rival Anaheim.
L.A. dropped a 6-5 shootout decision in Anaheim on Wednesday before falling
2-0 the next night against visiting Dallas. The Kings, however, were able to
win the rematch against the Ducks, posting a 3-2 win at the Staples Center
after Jarret Stoll scored on a power play at 2:19 of OT.
The Kings went on the man advantage 23 seconds into the extra session when
Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm was called for hooking. As the power play
was winding down, Justin Williams led a rush down the left wing and dished out
front to Stoll, who slid the puck between the pads of Frederik Andersen.
“We came out and did a lot of things. We’ve been spending a lot of time in the
defensive zone. Today, we came out and we were physical and we were getting
pucks in deep,” Stoll said.
Tyler Toffoli scored his fourth short-handed goal of the season in the victory
and Anze Kopitar added a power-play goal in the third period for the Kings.
Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in the winning effort.
Saturday’s win pushed the Kings’ home record this season to 8-2-1. L.A. is
playing the third part of a four-game homestand tonight and will complete the
residency Thursday versus Carolina.
The Panthers are hoping to build off their best offensive performance of the
season when they take the ice in L.A. Florida earned an impressive win in
nearby Orange County on Sunday, slamming the Ducks by a 6-2 score to kick off
a four-game road trip in fine fashion.
Nick Bjugstad finished with two goals and two assists to lead Florida’s
offense, which had only reached the four-goal mark three times this year
before exploding for a season-high in goals against Anaheim.
“We talk about it all year long – make sure you’re shooting pucks,” Panthers
head coach Gerard Gallant said. “They pounded some pucks tonight and they
Brad Boyes tallied two goals and an assist, Jonathan Huberdeau added a goal
and a helper and Vincent Trocheck also scored for the Panthers, who exploded
with four second-period goals to rebound from a 4-3 shootout loss to the
Islanders on Friday.
Al Montoya made 33 saves for his first win as a member of the Panthers.
Roberto Luongo’s backup is now 1-1-1 with a 2.17 goals against average this
Luongo will start tonight and he is 14-12-5 with a 2.38 GAA in 31 career games
against L.A. Quick is 4-1-0 with a 1.69 GAA in five lifetime outings versus
The Kings won both meetings against Florida last season and have claimed nine
of the past 10 encounters. The Panthers have dropped five straight in the City
of Angels since their last road win over the Kings on Nov. 27, 2002.
Former Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell will receive his Stanley Cup ring from
last season’s championship run in a private meeting before the game. Mitchell,
who also won a Cup with L.A. in 2012, left the Kings in the offseason to sign
a two-year deal with Florida.
On the injury front for the Panthers, forward Sean Bergenheim could return
tonight after missing the last seven games with a lower body injury. Dmitry
Kulikov also has sat out the last three games with a knee injury and he is
questionable for Tuesday.