(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Kings will try to pick up their first
road win in over a month when they visit the Florida Panthers for Thursday’s
clash at BB&T Center.
The Kings have lost the first two tilts of a five-game swing and are 0-3-0 on
the road since posting a win at Vancouver on New Year’s Day. The defending
Stanley Cup champions are just 5-11-6 as the visiting team this season after
posting identical 23-14-4 records at both home and on the road in 2013-14.
After dropping a 3-1 decision Saturday in Boston, the Kings fell 4-0 in
Tuesday’s matchup against the Washington Capitals. Braden Holtby made 27 saves
to blank Los Angeles, which was shut out for the fifth time this season and
for the first time since losing 1-0 at Buffalo on Dec. 9.
Jonathan Quick allowed all four goals on 27 shots for the Kings, who have lost
six of their last seven overall and currently sit five points out of a playoff
spot in the Western Conference.
“We made too many mistakes in this game,” said Los Angeles head coach Darryl
Sutter. “When you go into the third down 2-0 that’s a tough task in this
L.A. will continue its trek with Saturday’s tilt in Tampa before capping the
road trip Monday in Columbus.
Quick is 5-1-0 with a 1.74 goals against average in his career against Florida
and is expected to start tonight.
The Kings have dominated Florida in recent years, taking three straight and 10
of 11 in the series. The Panthers have lost four of five as the host against
The Panthers recently salvaged the finale of a road trip with Tuesday’s win
over the New York Islanders and hope to make it two victories in a row tonight
when they play the first of three straight at home.
Florida, which is seven points out of a playoff berth in the East, won for
only the second time in nine games with the 4-2 win over the Isles. Jimmy
Hayes potted a pair of goals, including the go-ahead score 2:10 into the third
period, to lead the Panthers to the much-needed 4-2 victory at Nassau
Al Montoya stopped 32 shots to help the Panthers win after losing its previous
two games against New Jersey and the New York Rangers. Brandon Pirri also
contributed a goal and an assist to Tuesday’s win. He has notched a goal in
three straight games and has eight markers this season.
Florida had gone 1-6-1 over its previous eight games and was outscored by a
9-4 margin in its recent road setbacks to the Devils and Rangers.
“We lost two games in a row so we had to salvage something from this trip,”
Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant said. “This was a big win against a very
Roberto Luongo is expected to start tonight in net. The veteran owns a 14-13-5
record with a lifetime 2.46 GAA versus the Kings.
The Panthers are 10-8-4 as the host this season and will continue their stay
in South Florida with Sunday’s tilt against Nashville.