Carter’s OT goal helps Kings beat Predators 4-3
LOS ANGELES (AP) Drew Doughty found Jeff Carter, and the veteran center finished the game for the surging Los Angeles Kings.
Just another big play for Carter against the Nashville Predators.
Carter scored at 4:42 of overtime, Tyler Toffoli continued his strong start with two more goals, and the Kings beat the Predators 4-3 on Saturday for their seventh straight win.
Carter took a lead pass off the left boards from Doughty and went in alone on Pekka Rinne. He faked a shot and waited for the goalie to go down before flipping the puck over him for his fourth goal of the season and seventh in his last seven games against the Predators.
”They had a 3-on-1 against us, so that meant that whole ice was clear up ahead of me and it was easy to find Carter,” Doughty said. ”Obviously, Carter is one of the best goal scorers on our team and in the league. That goal was huge for our team, and we expect him to do those things.”
Rookie Andy Andreoff also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves for the Kings, whose streak began after an 0-3 start.
”We’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Doughty said. ”We’re trying to do all the right things, and we need to continue winning.”
Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis scored the tying goal with 6:04 left in the third period, and Rinne stopped 25 shots for the Predators, who had won the previous five meetings – all by one-goal margins.
”There were two good goalies tonight, Rinne and Quick, and most of the time players in that position challenge each other,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. ”It’s a team that Jonathan has not had a ton of success against, so it is good to see him get the win.”
Nashville’s James Neal and Shea Weber scored power-play goals less than 3 1/2 minutes apart in the second period, and Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had two assists.
”They have a good team and their core group of guys has been together for a long time,” Rinne said. ”We are similar teams. Both are good defensively, and we have good forwards, good scoring and good power plays. So it’s a good matchup.”
The Kings tied it at 2 with 12:54 left in the third. Toffoli converted a centering pass from Trevor Lewis for his team-high ninth goal – just 15 seconds after Lewis finished serving a high-sticking penalty.
Andreoff put the Kings ahead about 3 minutes later, converting a rebound of defenseman Jake Muzzin’s shot from the left boards. But they didn’t get another shot on net the rest of the third period, and Ellis got the equalizer when he beat Quick to the glove side from the top of the right circle after carrying the puck into the zone.
The Predators, who were 1 for 13 on the power play over their previous four games, grabbed a 2-1 lead at 16:15 of the second on Weber’s goal while Alec Martinez was off for hooking Forsberg. The captain beat Quick to the stick side with a one-timer from the top of the left circle after getting a cross-ice pass from Josi.
Toffoli opened the scoring at 4:28 of the second, scoring on a backhander a few feet in front of the net while Josi was off for hooking Kyle Clifford.
”Both teams were physical today. Every time you touch the puck you’re getting hit,” Nashville defenseman Seth Jones said. ”Whether you had the puck or you didn’t, someone was putting a body on you.”
Quick preserved the one-goal lead with a sprawling leg save against Colin Wilson at 10:34 of the period. But Nashville went on the power play about 2 minutes later, and Neal beat Quick high to the stick side from close range 14 seconds after Brayden McNabb was sent off for high-sticking Cody Hodgson. Los Angeles came in averaging a league-high 14.7 penalty minutes.
Kings defenseman Christian Ehrhoff left with an upper-body injury with 1:02 left in the second period after Mike Ribeiro rammed him into the boards behind the Nashville net and received a boarding penalty.
NOTES: Kings captain Dustin Brown is still looking for his first goal after 10 games. It’s his longest drought from the start of a season since the first 17 games of his 2003-04 rookie campaign. … Through 10 games, the Predators remain the only team in the league that hasn’t allowed a first-period goal. The longest season-opening streak in NHL history without allowing a first-period goal is 12 games, by the 1974-75 Kings. … The Kings face the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Monday night, trying to start a season 4-0 on the road for the first time in franchise history.