Predators-Kings Preview

The Los Angeles Kings hope the end of their winning streak was

simply a one-game reprieve from the stellar goaltending they’ve had

of late.

The Nashville Predators’ league-worst offense continues to

sputter and the team’s current struggles show little sign of fading

until its penalty-kill issues are sorted out.

Los Angeles will look for a sixth win in seven games Monday

night as it tries to avoid being swept by the Predators in a season

series for the first time in four years.

After allowing six goals during a five-game winning streak, the

Kings (10-7-2) took a 5-2 loss at Vancouver on Saturday. Los

Angeles, which ranks among the NHL’s best in goals allowed at 2.4

per game, yielded more than three scores for just the third


“I just didn’t stop the puck,” said Jonathan Quick, who gave up

four goals on 23 shots. “I didn’t make enough saves for my team to

give them a chance to win.”

Nashville (9-8-5) may need another subpar performance from Los

Angeles’ goaltender. The Predators have lost four of five and five

straight on the road as the NHL’s worst offense, with 2.0 goals per

game, continues to flounder.

They have totaled two goals in the last four losses on 96 shots

(2.1 percent), and are the league’s first team to be shut out five


The Predators were nearly blanked again Saturday in San Jose,

getting only a goal from Gabriel Bourque with 5:30 remaining in a

2-1 loss.

“We have to find a way to win games,” defenseman Roman Josi

said. “It doesn’t matter if you win them 1-0 or whatever. We just

have to outwork the other teams. That’s our game.”

Though the Kings had tallied 17 goals during their winning

streak, the offense wasn’t derailed entirely Saturday. Anze Kopitar

recorded an assist, extending his point streak to five games,

though Jeff Carter, who had one goal in each of his last five, was

scoreless on two shots.

Justin Williams scored on the man advantage, and the Kings

should be able to get their power play going again against a

Nashville penalty-kill unit that is struggling mightily.

The Predators have given up seven goals on 13 power-play

opportunities over the last four games. Both of the scores allowed

Saturday came on San Jose power plays, the ninth straight road game

in which Nashville’s opponent has scored with the extra man.

“I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job on PK but

we just have to find a way to win these games,” goalie Pekka Rinne

said. “Everything is so crucial now. I don’t think any of us were

very happy tonight by how we played.”

The Predators’ own power play has also sputtered on the road,

scoring on just 7.9 percent of its chance (3 for 38).

Colin Wilson, who has team highs of five goals and 15 points,

had two of his scores in a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles on Feb.


The Predators, who’ve outscored the Kings 4-1 despite being

outshot 56-28 in winning the first two meetings, haven’t swept the

season series since 2008-09.