Sunday, March 18, 2012
The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Nashville Predators by a 4-2 score in front of a sellout crowd at Staples Center on Saturday night. The Kings out-worked the Predators, and were able to capitalize on critical errors by Nashville in the third period en route to the victory.
Anze Kopitar got Los Angeles on the board at 7:53 of the first period when he fired a blazing wrist shot over the shoulder of Pekka Rinne. Kopitar's quick release stunned Rinne, who was unable to see the puck because of the traffic in front.
After being dominated in the first period, the Predators played a strong second period. Nashville was able to tie the game at one when Martin Erat scored on the power play. Patric Hornqvist was screening Jonathan Bernier, which allowed Erat's slapshot to find its way into the net.
In the third period, Nashville made three critical errors that ended up in the back of their own net. Ryan Suter wasn't able to get in front of the puck along the boards in the offensive zone, and it led to a goal by Dustin Penner at 8:04 of the period after an incredible pass from Trevor Lewis.
Later on, Gabriel Bourque fired a pass into the skates of Jordin Tootoo, which led to a turnover. Dwight King was able to finish the play on a breakaway to put the Kings up 3-1. At 16:19 of the third period, Kyle Clifford was able to get around Kevin Klein and Tootoo for a breakaway goal.
Mike Fisher brought the Predators within two goals at 17:18 of the third period, but that would be as close as Nashville would get. Los Angeles walked away with the 4-2 win, and ended the regular season series with a 3-1-0 record against the Predators.
After the lackluster play in the third period, expect to see some lineup changes for the
Predators when they take on the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night. It will be the final game of the west coast road-trip.
Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Dustin Penner(LAK)
2. Trevor Lewis(LAK)
3. Martin Erat(NSH)
Official 3 Stars:
1. Trevor Lewis(LAK)
2. Jonathan Bernier(LAK)
3. Dustin Penner(LAK)