Los Angeles Kings Stay in Florida to Play the Panthers

Feb 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison (5) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison (5) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Los Angeles Kings are finishing up their Florida tour by moving to the southern part of the state to play the Panthers at 4:30 PM Pacific Time.

This will be the final game before the Kings take a well deserved week break from game action. They’ll return home to play the Arizona Coyotes on February 16.

Part of what makes it so great being a hockey or basketball fan is the prevalence of games to consume this time of year, yet these athletes are the ones taxing their bodies for our entertainment.

It’s a great opportunity for some physical as well as mental relaxation, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Kings respond to it.

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The break is probably coming at a great time for them. Back-to-back 5-0 shutouts at the hands of the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning tend to force some self reflection.

The Kings are currently 27-23-4 with 58 points and are 1 point out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference. Given that this is their last chance to gain some points for a while, their game against the Panthers today is crucial.

Florida is 23-19-10 with 56 points and are 3 points out of the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Panthers are on a 3 game winning streak right now, and this is their final home game before embarking on a 5 game road trip.

Vincent Trocheck leads the team with 18 goals and 34 points in 52 games, and ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr is still going strong just days away from his 45th birthday.

Jagr has 29 points in 52 games this season. He’s one of the few remaining treasures of a bygone era. He was in his sophomore campaign when I was born in 1992. Only Wayne Gretzky has scored more career NHL points than the legendary Jagr.

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Roberto Luongo has gotten the bulk of starts in net for the Panthers. He’s 14-13-6 with a 2.53 GAA and a .919 save percentage.