The LA Kings will play back-to-back games in the Sunshine State, starting with the Florida Panthers on Friday.
LA Kings (27-17-6)
Per LA Kings Insider Zach Dooley, here is how the Kings skated on Thursday:
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Iafallo – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Lizotte – Anderson-Dolan
Kupari – Turcotte – Fagemo – Lemieux
Anderson – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Walker
We’ll get clarity if there is a morning skate on Friday.
Florida Panthers (23-21-6)
Here’s how the Panthers skated at practice on Thursday:
#FlaPanthers line rushes at practice:
Tierney & Duclair are extras and Barkov is absent.
— Colby Guy (@ColbyDGuy) January 26, 2023
Both injured goaltenders, Spencer Knight and Sergei Bobrovsky, also skated.
Here’s how the two teams match up at 5-on-5 per Natural Stat Trick
|Los Angeles Kings||52.0||53.1||52.3||53.2||7.9||0.902||0.981|
It has been a disappointing season for the Florida Panthers under new coach Paul Maurice. Though, their 5-on-5 metrics are certainly not too bad. Their offense has operated at a bit of a slower pace than we saw from them last season.
|Los Angeles Kings||24.3||74.0|
Both teams come in with top-ten power plays, yet toward the bottom of the league in the penalty kill. Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers in power play points (24) in his debut season with the team.
Let’s look at the odds, courtesy of Betstamp.
*Note: the odds below are for sports books offered in New York. Refer to available sports books specific to your state.
**Odds as of 10 am ET/7 am PT may have changed since this was published.
The Florida Panthers are home favorites on Friday, with BetRivers’ -147 being the best price available. If you like the LA Kings, there are a few books offering +130. The total on the game is 6.5, with a handful of books offering the Over at -130, while +110 is the way to go on the Under at a few different shops.
I played the Kings at +135 last night. Though Bobrovsky and Knight skated, there’s still a chance that Alex Lyon gets the start again, and even if not, Bobrovsky has not been good this year. It’s a back-to-back situation for the Kings, so this could be a Jonathan Quick game, but I’m riding with LA at +135.
News & Notes
- The Panthers are coming off a wild 7-6 overtime loss in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Alex Lyon allowed seven goals on 49 shots.
- With Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight skating on Thursday, they appear to be inching closer to returning to the net. We’ll see if either gets the nod against LA.
- Florida will be getting a couple of forwards back as Sam Bennet, and Erc Staal look like they will return to the lineup on Friday.
- The Kings also had an overtime game on Tuesday that was wild in its own way. Kevin Fiala got the Kings the extra point with his overtime tally, giving LA two straight wins.
- Florida has lost back-to-back games, allowing 13 goals in those two games. Lyon took the loss in the team’s 6-2 defeat against the New York Rangers on Monday.
- This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Kings winning 5-4 back in early November. The LA Kings were playing much different hockey at that time and have since steadied the ship a bit. Florida controlled 66% of the shot attempts, while LA held nearly a 59% edge in expected goals at 5-on-5 (per Natural Stat Trick).
- Aleksander Barkov did not skate on Thursday, but it was just a maintenance day.
- Anze Kopitar scored a pair of goals in Tuesday’s win. He has five points in his last five games.
- It’s been a little streaky for Adrian Kempe, who has just one goal in his last five games. This was after notching five goals in his previous six.
- The line of Kempe, Kopitar, and Quinton Byfield has been very good for the Kings. In their 11 games together (114 minutes), the trio has a 55.7% CF% and 60% xGF%. They’ve outscored their opponents 7-4 and have scored 3.7 goals per 60 minutes (per MoneyPuck.com).
(Main Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill, AP Photo)