Florida: 24-17-11 (59PTS)
Washington: 26-18-10 (62PTS)
Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports West
Radio: 640 WFTL
The Panthers find themselves in a familiar position tonight: looking up at a playoff spot. What is unfamiliar, perhaps, is that they are two points out with 30 games left in the season. The Kings are 5-3-2 in their last ten while the Panthers are 3-4-3. Additionally, the Cats have not beaten the Kings since November 2002. Jani Hurme had the win in that one and the only current Cat in the game was Stephen Weiss. The only active players playing for the Cats that night were Weiss, Olli Jokinen, Andreas Lilja, Jay Bouwmeester and Kristian Huselius. What we're saying is that it's been a while. But the time for the Panthers to step up is now, if they want to be playing hockey after April 7. The stats don't matter and the history doesn't matter. What matters is getting a solid start, not giving up an early goal and putting some pucks in the net.
News and Notes
The Panthers were shut out by former Cats goalie Tomas Vokoun and the Washington Capitals 4-0 in DC on Tuesday night.
The only lineup change today is Brian Foster was returned to San Antonio. Jose Theodore is expected to back up Scott Clemmensen tonight and play in one of the games this weekend. Jack Skille, Ed Jovanovski and Jacob Markstrom are all skating again, but only Skille is nearing return.
- F Jack Skille (shoulder), 1/22, two weeks
- F Marco Sturm (lower body), 2/2, unknown
- F Scottie Upshall (core), 2/1, 6 to 8 weeks
- G Jacob Markstrom (knee), 1/7, 4 to 6 weeks
- D Ed Jovanovski (hand), 1/16, week to week
- D Dmitry Kulikov (knee), 1/21, 6 to 8 weeks