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Of Cats and Kings

November 16, 2023, 11:13 PM ET [10 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to admit that he just can’t do it anymore.

That time, for this humble writer, has come…

I just can’t stay awake for the west coast games anymore. Even if they’re on a Friday or Saturday, I’m struggling. To quote Jeff Bridges in True Grit, “I’ve grown old.” LOL

That being said, there is a hockey game tonight between the Florida Panthers and the Los Angeles Kings, where our Cats will look to extend their hot streak another game while visiting LA.

The Panthers are 8-1-1 in their last ten games and have a five-game winning streak going. After knocking off a very bad Sharks team 5-3 on Tuesday night, they will take on a well-rested Kings team that is 8-3-3, sitting in third of the Pacific Division. Despite dropping a couple to some weaker teams in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, this is a pretty darn good Kings team.

Checkout Jameson Olive’s latest for some intel on the guys from La La Land:

After stringing together four straight wins, the Kings have lost each of their last two games, including a 4-2 loss to the Flyers on Saturday. In that defeat, Carl Grundstrom and Adrian Kempe each scored against Philadelphia, while Cam Talbot surrendered four goals on 26 shots.

Riding a nine-game point streak, Kempe leads Los Angeles in scoring with 16 points (7G, 9A). Right behind him, Anze Kopitar and Kevin Fiala are tied for second with 14 points each. Starting to come into his own, Quinton Byfield, the second-overall pick in 2020, has 13 points (2G, 11A).

Talbot has earned the bulk of the starts for the Kings, posting a 7-3-1 record with a .923 save percentage over 11 appearances. Backing him up, Pheonix Copley has struggled out of the gate, going 1-0-2 with a .792 save percentage while allowing at least four goals in two of four starts.

While most teams have a home-ice advantage, the Kings have been loving life on the road.

Third in the Pacific Division with a record of 8-3-3, they’ve gone a perfect 7-0-0 on the road, but just 1-3-3 in Los Angeles. Over those seven games in their own barn, they’ve been outscored 28-23 while converting on just 12.5% of their power plays. On the road, they’ve led 33-12 in goals.

“Statistically, we’re very similar,” Maurice said. “I think the shots, for and against, are almost identical for both teams. Really strong down the middle. The addition of Pierre-Luc Dubois changes them. They’ve got two really big men in the middle of the ice. … I’d like to think that this gets to a pretty good defensive struggle, which has been out strength even with our injuries.”

Last season, the Panthers lost both of their meetings with the Kings.“

It sounds like one of either Ekblad or Montour could be back tomorrow night against the Ducks.


Go Panthers!
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