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Kings’ close-but-no-cigar tour continues in Florida

Once again the Kings played rather well against a good team, only to fall short for the sixth consecutive game.
A familiar tune of late, indeed.
But after falling 2-1 Thursday at Nashville , the Kings can ill-afford to worry about wasting another respectable effort because they will be right back at work Saturday when they play at Florida at 2 p.m. in the second game of a four-game road trip.
Going 0-4-2 over the past six starts, the Kings lost four of those games by one goal and the other two by two. They lost twice to the defending Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals and twice to another good team in the Boston Bruins.
As for Nashville, the Predators currently lead the Central Division of the Western Conference.
Yet, all they have to show for their efforts are the two measly points they earned by taking Boston into overtime and Vancouver into a shootout.
Almost only counts in horseshoes, and the Kings desperately need points if they are going to retain any kind of belief they can still make the post-season. They were 10 points out of the Western Conference’s final playoff berth ahead of Friday’s slate of games.
Florida was also 10 points out of a spot in the Eastern Conference, so the Panthers are in the same boat.
The Kings (23-31-6, 52 points) have 22 games left, Florida (26-25-8, 60 points) has 23.
Scouting the Panthers
Forward Aleksander Barkov leads Florida with 62 points on 24 goals and 38 assists. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau has 16 goals and a team-high 42 assists (58 points).
The Panthers average 3.07 goals per game, 12th in the league. The Kings are second-to-last at 2.37.
However, Florida gives up an average of 3.37 goals and only two teams were worse – Chicago (3.70) and Ottawa (3.72).
The Kings allow 3.03 goals per game, which is 17th in the league.
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This and that
Michael Amadio had the Kings’ only goal at Nashville. It came at 9:24 of the third period, and it was his fourth of the season. … Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 27 of 29 shots after missing the previous two games with illness. … After Saturday, the Kings will finish the road trip with games Monday at Tampa Bay and Tuesday at Carolina. Tampa Bay (47-11-4) has a league-high 98 points. Calgary at 81 had the second-most points in the league before its home game Friday against Anaheim.
KINGS VS. PANTHERS When: Saturday, 2 p.m. Where: BB&T Center Records: Kings 23-31-6 (52 points), Panthers 26-25-8 (60 points) TV: Fox Sports West Radio: Kings Audio Network (iHeart Radio)

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