Florida Panthers at Los Angeles Kings - Game 25 Preview

LOS ANGELES CA - DECEMBER 02: Shawn Matthias #18 of the Florida Panthers and Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings follow the puck during the first period on December 2 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Florida: 13-7-4 (30PTS)
Los Angeles: 12-8-4 (28PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Game Time: 10:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports West
Radio: 560 WQAM

The Panthers' annual California trip is this week, featuring games against the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. The teams don't meet very often, but there will be a couple of familiar faces on the ice for the Kings: former Flyers Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Both are well known to Panthers fans. Richards, of course, put the hit on David Booth a few seasons ago that sidelined him for much of the season. Gagne spent last season in the Southeast Division after the Flyers traded him to the Lightning. The Kings are in the middle of their division, sitting one-point under the Stars and one above the Sharks and are eighth in the Western Conference.

More from our Los Angeles cohorts at Jewels From The Crown.
Panthers vs Kings coverage at SB Nation.
TSN Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Kings beat the Panthers 3-2 at home a year ago; one of at least 150 1-goal games that the Panthers lost last season. Anze Kopitar scored the game winner while Jonathan Quick took the victory.

Last game

The Panthers spoiled the debut of new Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller by beating the Canes 3-1 in Raleigh. Shawn Matthias had two goals late in the third period, including both the game winner and an empty net goal.

Lineup

The injuries are mounting in Florida. Dimitry Kulikov was injured when he took a puck off his foot in Carolina. He is expected to be out for a few weeks, with Keaton Ellerby taking his place in the lineup. Kris Versteeg took a stick in the face in the same game and missed practice for what was called a "maintenance day" yesterday. Mikael Samuelsson is on the roadtrip and expected to play for the Panthers soon, though he has been skating in a non-contact jersey at practices.

Injuries

  • F Mikael Samuelsson (rehab from abdominal surgery), 10/24, day to day
  • F Scottie Upshall (hip), 11/10, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F Matt Bradley (undisclosed), 11/16, unknown
  • F Marcel Goc (undisclosed head injury), 11/16, unknown
  • D Dimitry Kulikov (foot), 11/29, 2-3 weeks

Healthy Scratches

Lines (from last game)

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Kopecky-Santorelli-Sturm
  3. Bergenheim-Matthias-Skille
  4. Kennedy-Cullen-Dadonov
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Jovanovski-Gudbranson
  3. Ellerby-Weaver
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