Lineups, betting odds for the Panthers at Kings –
As the Florida Panthers flew west for a four-game trip to California and Nevada, it was no surprise that guard Spencer Knight was with them.
How it happened was a bit surprising, however.
Knight is set to start Sunday night in Los Angeles – the Panthers would rather not face Sergei Bobrovsky, 33, a day after a 5 1/2 hour flight west – and likely Friday night in Anaheim as it is the second half of a back-to-back with Vegas.
After making 29 saves Monday night at Buffalo, Knight was returned to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers where he made another start Wednesday night. He allowed six goals on 28 shots in a loss to the Texas Stars.
On Friday, a day before heading to Los Angeles, Florida recalled Knight from Charlotte.
With a spot on the open roster, it was expected.
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Jonas Johansson being sent to Charlotte – he is not eligible for the waiver – on a play conditioning stint was the surprising part.
Johansson can only be hidden in Charlotte for a few games before he has to be recalled by the Panthers.
Or, the team can place him on waivers and hope he clears if they want to keep him there.
On Saturday night, Johansson played just his second game since December 8 when he started and played the first half of what was a 5-4 overtime win.
Johansson allowed two goals on 18 shots in just over 32 minutes.
Prior to Saturday, Johansson had played just one game — a 6-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 24 — since the Panthers claimed him off waivers from Colorado on Dec. 13.
Saturday afternoon after practice at the Kings facility in Los Angeles, coach Andrew Brunette did not confirm the Florida starter for Sunday, giving more credence to the idea that Knight would actually play.
Since becoming a coach, Brunette has generally confirmed the next day’s starter as long as it’s Bobrovsky.
If not, he usually says it hasn’t been determined yet.
“I’m going to go back and talk to Robb here tonight and figure it out,” Brunette said Saturday, referring to goalkeeper coach Robb Tallas.
With Anton Lundell and Ryan Lomberg not on the trip, per Brunette, Florida currently has two open spots on the roster.
One is reserved for Joe Thornton’s activation off injured reserve ahead of Tuesday’s game at San Jose. The other could be for Johansson’s return – if only temporarily.
Lundell, injured last Monday at Buffalo, could also be retroactively added to the IR at any time to free up another roster spot.
Lundell and/or Lomberg could also meet the team later in the week-long trip, although with the trade deadline coming up next Monday, the Panthers might be able to keep a few roster spots open. .
– The Kings remain in the thick of the playoff race and sit in second place in the Pacific Division, seven points behind the Flames for first place.
Los Angeles has lost its last two games — in overtime to the Sharks on Thursday night, then 5-0 at San Jose on Saturday.
Jonathan Quick is expected to start for the Kings.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON THE BRIDGE
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT THE LOS ANGELES KINGS
- When: Sunday, 10 p.m.
- Or: Crypto.Com Arena, Los Angeles
- Television/Broadcast: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560, SiriusXM
- FanDuel Odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-210); Puck line (-1.5, +116); Over/Under 6.5 (-110/-110)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Los Angeles leads 22-14-0, 3 draws
- Series of the Season – Los Angeles leads 1-0: Los Angeles 4, @Florida 1 (December 16)
PROJECTED RANGE OF FLORIDA PANTHERS
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 98 Maxim Mamin
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
17 March of the Masons // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 13 Sam Reinhart
77 Frank Vatrano // 55 Noel Acciari // 70 Patric Hornqvist
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
40 Petteri Lindbohm // 62 Brandon Montour
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Striped: Lucas Carlson
Hurt: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Joe Thornton (IR), Ryan Lomberg (IR), Anton Lundell (LBI)
On loan to Charlotte: Jonas Johansson
PROJECTED LINEUP OF THE LOS ANGELES KINGS
19 Alex Iafallo // 11 Anze Kopitar // 9 Adrian Kempe
12 Trevor Moore // 24 Phillip Danault // 34 Arthur Kaliyev
24 Lias Andersson // 55 Quinton Byfield // 23 Dustin Brown
28 Jaret Anderson-Dolan // 46 Blake Lizotte // 38 Carl Grunderström
57 Jacob Moverare // 3 Matt Roy
6 Olli Maatta // 53 Jordan Spence
33 Tobias Bjornfot // 50 Sean Durzi
32 Jonathan Quick
40 Cal Peterson
Courtesy of Los Angeles Kings Lines DailyFaceoff.com