Kings Host Panthers Looking To Stop Four-Game Slide

(Sports Network) - The Kings have been in a downward spiral since getting off to the best start in franchise history. A visit from the Panthers could help them get back on track. Los Angeles hopes to snap a season-worst four-game losing streak with a sixth straight win over Florida this evening at the Staples Center. The Kings have lost seven of eight since a club-record 12-3-0 start and now sit in a tie for fourth in the Pacific Division and 11th in the Western Conference after finding themselves atop the standings earlier in the season.

Los Angeles has been outscored 11-4 over its current four-game slide and is coming off Monday's 2-0 setback in Anaheim. Jonas Hiller stopped all 27 Kings shots, while Jonathan Quick made 17 saves in the loss and fell to 1-4-0 since a personal seven-game win streak. "We know as a team we haven't been creating as many chances as we'd like and we've got to get back to the basics," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Getting pucks to the net and getting guys to the goal -- that is the only way we are going to be able to score goals. We just need to focus on getting our shots on target, first of all, and having a body in front."

The Kings, who haven't lost five straight since Oct. 25-Nov. 4, 2008, begin a four-game homestand tonight and have lost two straight at the Staples Center since their club-record 8-0 start there. Los Angeles, though, has won its last two at home over Florida and five straight against the club overall. The Kings haven't been bested by the Panthers since a 5-2 home loss on Nov. 27, 2002 and notched a 4-3 shootout win at Florida in the lone meeting between the club's last year.

Quick made 26 saves in that one, his only other career start versus the Panthers. Florida has lost four of its last five overall and after getting a four-game road trip off to a winning start in Tampa Bay on Saturday, dropped a 5-3 test in Anaheim last night to start the west coast portion of the swing. Playing for the first time in nine games after having surgery to repair a broken orbital bone, Steve Bernier had a pair of power-play goals, his first snapping Florida's 0-for-37 slide on the man advantage. Mike Santorelli added his team-leading seventh goal of the season and Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves.

"We didn't play well enough to win the game," Bernier said. "There are always some positives. We scored two goals on the power play. We need to focus on playing good 5-on-5 and play the same way on the power play. If we do that, we'll have a lot more chances to win." Florida fell to 5-8-0 on the road and will visit Phoenix Saturday. The club played without forward Cory Stillman last night due to back spasms and he is questionable for this contest as well.

Vokoun, who made 31 saves versus the Kings last year, is just 4-10-2 with a 2.88 GAA in his career versus Los Angeles. Florida could opt to rest him tonight and give Scott Clemmensen his second career start versus the Kings. Clemmensen allowed three goals on 32 shots in losing his only other outing against them.

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