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Kings roll into Florida

11:13 AM, Oct 13, 2013   |    comments
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings will shoot for a third straight victory when they continue a four-game road trip with Sunday's battle against the Florida Panthers.

After opening the season with a win against Minnesota, the Kings dropped two in a row before notching its recent victories against Ottawa and Carolina. Both of those wins came after regulation, including Friday's 2-1 shootout triumph over the Hurricanes.

L.A. opened its current swing on Friday and picked up two points after Jeff Carter recorded the lone goal in the shootout round at PNC Arena. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick made a pair of sharp saves in the initial two rounds of the deciding phase and Carter lifted a backhander under Cam Ward's arm to put the Hurricanes in a must-score situation. Quick then gloved Nathan Gerbe's final attempt to give the Kings the win.

Carter is now 2-for-2 on shootout chances during the young season.

"It's worked so far, so I don't want to change it up, basically," he said of his backhand approach.

Dwight King had a shorthanded tally for Los Angeles, while Quick followed up a 27-save effort through regulation and overtime by stoning all three Carolina skaters in the shootout.

"It was a hard-fought game," said Kings center Jarret Stoll. "They've got a great team over there. They're fast, their transition game is very good and they've got a great goaltender, too. It was a battle."

The Kings, who are 2-1-0 on the road this season, will visit Tampa and Nashville before returning to Los Angeles, where the club will have a four- game homestand at the Staples Center from Oct. 19-27.

While L.A. aims for a third straight win on Sunday, the Panthers will try to build off an impressive home victory over the previously-unbeaten Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh was 3-0 heading into Friday's opener at the BB&T Center, but the Panthers handed the Pens their first loss of the campaign, downing the visitors by a 6-3 score.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov each scored on a two-man advantage early in the second period, helping the Panthers pull off a successful home opener.

Brad Boyes scored twice, Tomas Fleischmann added a goal and three assists, and Barkov finished with a pair of helpers for the Panthers, who snapped a three- game losing streak that began after the club opened 2013-14 with a win in Dallas. Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves in the victory.

Boyes has four goals already this season, leaving him six shy of his total of 10 in 48 games with the New York Islanders last year.

"Right now I'm definitely feeling good," Boyes said. "It's about opportunities and when you get them, capitalize on them. It's been good that it's been happening so far."

Markstrom expects to get a third straight start in net on Sunday. Fellow Florida goaltender Tim Thomas is still battling a groin injury that has caused him to miss the last two games. Scott Clemmensen has backed up Markstrom while Thomas has been sidelined.

The Kings have won eight of the last 10 meetings against Florida.

The Sports Network

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