Panthers at Kings pregame primer – with Mike Richards

When the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings last played each other it certainly featured an exciting finish. Tied 2-2 with less than three minutes remaining in the third period, Anze Kopitar scored to put LA on top and they went on to win the game 3-2.

That was only Kopitar’s fourth career game vs. Florida, largely because they’re an Eastern Conference team – so the Kings don’t see them very often.

Mike Richards, on the other hand, has faced them 23 times and picked up 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in the process.

“They’re always a good team,” said Richards, who has scored nine goals in the the last 10 games for LA. “I know they were extremely well coached the last couple of years with Pete DeBeor there [since replaced by Kevin Dineen, more on that earlier today]. It was usually a tough place to play too, going down to Florida. But, they’ve made a lot of changes. They have a lot of skill in their line-up now – including Kris Versteeg scoring well, I played with him. They have skill and they ruffle things up a bit too. They’re playing well right now and we have to play well too.”

Additional notes:

– Earlier today, Kings captain Dustin Brown and former King defenseman (now with the Panthers) Mike Weaver exchanged comments about each other here. Also, former King Marco Sturm paid a visit to MayorsManor here, talking about his return to Staples Center tonight and how he’s happy to leave the lows of LA behind him.

– From the random trivia files – Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi played his first NHL game against the Florida Panthers back in 2004. He shared a few memories from that game and sized up tonight’s contest here.

– As usual, we’ll be running our first goal contest tonight too. If you’d like a chance at winning a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers, simply reply below with the name of the Kings player you think will score the first goal for LA tonight. You can even use your facebook profile to enter!

Finally, remember to follow along on the twitter or facebook links below too, as we’ll have post-game notes and quotes live from the Kings locker room and Terry Murray’s presser immediately following the game.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
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