Game Review: Preds Bow to Kings, Lose 5-4
The Nashville Predators fought back to tie the game three different times before the team & G Pekka Rinne bowed down losing 5-4 to the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena. If Head Coach Barry Trotz was unhappy with the effort the last time these two teams met, then he must have been furious with how this game started & played out over 60 minutes.
LA imposed their will & style of game on the Preds who fell behind at 6:16 of the 1st when Rinne made the initial save on Justin Williams, but lost the puck in his skates & accidently kicked it into the net. It looked like the Preds might be getting going when Patric Hornqvist scored his 19th Goal of the season on a nice feed from Andrei Kostitsyn with 1:19 left in the period, but the Kings answered before PA Announcer Paul McCann could even relay the goal information. Just 12 seconds later, Justin Williams was at it again with his 15th Goal to put the Kings up 2-1 & that is how the period would end. Preds got on the board at 9:19 of the 2nd with a wicked wrister from Martin Erat going high on Quick for his 15th Goal & a 2-2 score. It took the Kings just over 3 mins to recapture the lead this time on a wrist shot by Drew Doughty. At 14:05 of the 2nd, Sergei Kostitsyn used the same strategy as Erat earlier & fired a wrist shot high beating Quick for his 16th Goal to tie the game for the third time. After 2 scatter shot periods tied at 3, anything was possible going into the final 20 minutes (even Pekka Rinne getting pulled).
The Kings barn stormed the Preds net & scored at 1:15 & then 3:00 mins of the period making the score 5-3 & chasing Rinne for the 1st time since 12/23 when he gave up 3 Goals on 7 shots to the Dallas Stars. Mike Fisher hits a post/crossbar combination that could have made things really interesting with plenty of time left in the 3rd. With 6:41 remaining, Preds F Jordin Tootoo received a 10 min misconduct for making contact with an official during a post whistle scrum behind the Kings net.
While the linesman was separating the players, he appeared to accidently brush Tootoo in the chin area & the Preds winger became quite upset over this. The league will certainly look into the incident for further discipline that could result in a fine or suspension. Hornqvist does pull the Preds to within 1, scoring his 20th Goal of the year with 5:18 remaining in the game & it makes for a solid push to the finish, but LA kept the shots to the outside & cleared what seemed to be every loose puck over the final stretch ending a 12 game home points streak for Nashville.
The Preds need to tighten things up, especially on the Defense before facing Colorado on Thurs & Detroit on Sat
The bottom line:
-The Nashville Predators are 38-21-7 (83 Pts) and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 8 Pts behind St Louis & 6 Pts behind Detroit.
-In the Western Conference The Predators are in 5th, 6 Pts behind Detroit with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (79), 7 Phoenix (75), 8 San Jose (74) & 9 LA (74).
-The Predators have gained 0 of a possible 2 points on this current 3 game home stand.
-The Predators next game will be at home on Thurs Vs Colorado Avalanche.
-The Predators are 1-2-0 since Andrei Kostitsyn & Paul Gaustad joined the team.
-F Patric Hornqvist scored 2 goals Vs Kings giving him 20 on the season (3rd straight 20 Goal season).
-F Andrei Kostitsyn recorded 2 Assists Vs Kings & now has 4 Points in 2 games since joining the Preds.
-D Ryan Suter recorded 2 Assists Vs Kings & now has 40 Pts on the season.
-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 36.
Leg-watch 500- With 1 Goal Vs Fla on Saturday, David Legwand now has 489 points in his career (184G 305 A) with the Predators.