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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Kings

The Cats and Kings battle in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 10:30 AM / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Kings
The Cats and Kings battle in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Florida Panthers vs. Los Angeles Kings


Panthers Kings
Record 26-36-8 39-25-6
Points 60 84
Place 7th in Atlantic 3rd in Pacific

The Florida Panthers hit Hollywood!!

The Cats are in the city of stars kicking off a weekend back-to-back against some NHL royalty. The Panthers will take on the Los Angeles Kings today at 4:00 p.m. ET at Staples Center before their battle with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday evening.

Florida is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday while the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with their 2-1 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals.

Here is the lowdown:

Kings Players to Watch

#12 Marian Gaborik: The Kings sent winger Matt Frattin and two draft picks to Columbus to bring Gabs into the fold and so far the deal has paid off. The veteran has two goals and two assists in his last four games and he seems to really be settling in with his new squad.

#11 Anze Kopitar: The 26-year-old Slovenian native has been packing the box score for Los Angeles all season. With 58 points (22-36-58), Kopitar leads LA in scoring and the alternate captain is currently riding a hot streak with five points (3-2-5) in his last five games.

Hockey 101

Word of the Day: Celly

Definition: Celly is short for celebration, as in a goal celebration. A good celly is essential if you want to have long-term NHL success, but well crafted cellys do not happen overnight. Take Scottie Upshall for example:

Here we have a veteran celly. The ‘one skate in the air fist pump’ works so well because it captures the excitement of scoring an NHL goal while also being very visually pleasing. Now you may think Uppy was born to do NHL-calibre cellys but that is not the case.

Here we have a young, exuberant Upshall in the process of figuring out his celly technique. The ‘getting too excited and falling flat on your face’ celly is a good learning experience that teaches a player not to try and do too much.

Vintage Style

Being from Hollywood and all, the Kings have always put an emphasis on the threads. Over the years they have developed one of the finest catalogues of vintage gear in the league:

As you will notice above, it hasn’t been all good over the years.

Ooof!

That’s okay, this picture redeems all:

Quotables

Peter Horachek on Brandon Pirri and the Panthers young players getting their NHL shot:

“This is a great opportunity for him, being with a lot of other young players who have a lot going for them. They all have parts of their game they need to improve but they are relishing the opportunity.”

Ed Jovanovski on his return of injury this season:

"Personally, coming from the situation of not knowing whether I'd ever play again to holding my own pretty good, the goal is to finish strong, feel comfortable, and use the summer of getting myself ready for a big year.''

Milestones Can Wait

With their 2-1 shootout win over the Capitals, a pair of Kings reached important milestones. Goaltender Jonathan Quick recorded his 171st career victory with the Kings, tying Rogie Vachon for the franchise record.

Meanwhile head coach Darryl Sutter recorded his 500th career coaching victory putting him in a tie with Toe Blake for 17th all-time.

The two Kings will have a chance to claim those spots for their own today with a win against the Panthers but obviously the Cats will not let that happen. More importantly, how about those names! I mean Rogie?! Toe?! These guys deserve to be immortalized.

Silencing Sutter

In the ‘head coaches throwing players from random teams under the bus’ category, Brian Campbell will get his chance to get a little revenge on King’s coach Darryl Sutter who took a shot at Campbell last season while defending his own star defenseman Drew Doughty.

When asked about Doughty’s dropping offensive production last season and whether Doughty was trying to do it all himself, Sutter replied:

“Well, if you do that all the time, you’re not a very good player. You’re Brian Campbell in Florida. You’ll be minus-20. And we’ll see you on the highlights, but you’re on a bad team, and you’re a high-minus player.”

Whoa! Shots Fired!

I don’t know where this random shot at Campbell came from, but this is absolutely bulletin board material.

Enjoy the game! Go Panthers!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 0 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 1 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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