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Florida Panthers in Los Angeles ... Pete Practices Team ... Higgins OUT ... Pete Responds to Wideman (kinda)

Staplescenterskate LOS ANGELES -- Greetings from cool and festive Southern California where the Panthers play late night against the Kings tonight.

Usually the Panthers don't practice on the morning of a second game of a back-to-back set, but Pete DeBoer had them out here this morning to work out some kinks and basically "purge" the disappointing performance to the Ducks on Wednesday.

"We went through some tape so it was more of a purging of last night,'' DeBoer said.

Lakerbanner "We wanted to clean up our breakouts and some of the things I didn't think we did well. It wasn't a long skate, but I thought it was affective. I think both purging last night and fixing things.

“I don't think anyone feels good about the game last night. This gave us an opportunity to cut it off and go fresh tonight.''

Pete also responded to comments from defenseman Dennis Wideman. After Wednesday's game, Wideman told Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel that the Panthers needed to emulate the Ducks a little bit more offensively and use their speed a little more.

“We're doing a little bit more,'' DeBoer said. "We've shot around all different ideas on the power play and tried different things. That's something we're trying to do.

Lakerlocker “I don't have much comment on that. Dennis isn't a coach. He's a player. If he has a solution for it, he should speak up.''

-- Other stuff:

Chris Higgins is out after developing some sort of infection. He has a cut on his foot and apparently the infection is bad enough that he can't skate. He was hobbling around the locker room last night. That means Bill Thomas is in tonight.

Tomas Vokoun gets the start for the second straight SoCal night.

-- Pete on the Panthers being a 'critical' part of the season:

“Yeah, it's critical. We're still in the pack. We're still in the middle of New Jersey and Buffalo and Toronto, Carolina. That's a pack of teams people will probably say we should be in, but we have to separate ourselves and string some wins together here.''

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