Kings 4, Predators 3: A Not-So-Special Night

Tonight's game in Los Angeles was a pretty unusual one, as the pace was constantly broken up by penalties and special teams work (7 penalties were called on each team), yet only two of the goals scored tonight were on the power play.

NHL Boxscore - Event Summary - Game Summary

While the Predators gamely fought back after falling behind 2-0 in the first period, and made the game close again after the Kings took a 4-2 lead in the second, it was a matter of "too little, too late" as the final comeback fizzled in the waning seconds. The Predators typically like to roll the lines and play 5-on-5, but this contest was pretty much the opposite of that, forcing Barry Trotz to leverage his specialists even more than usual.

Follow after the jump for highlights, thoughts, and the advanced even-strength stats...

  • That 1st period was just a tangled mess, wasn't it? Between all the whistles, and goals, and turnovers, it was like an entire game in itself. Sure, they got down 2-0, but kept their heads about them and worked hard to take advantage of loose pucks created in the L.A. zone on both the Halischuk and Smith goals.
  • As to that hit by Dustin Brown on David Legwand... I don't know that we'll see any action from the league on this, as it looked shoulder-to-shoulder. It's just that it seemed to catch Leggy by surprise, hence the violent collision. Obviously, we'll all be monitoring the news tomorrow morning.
  • Craig Smith did a pretty fine job stepping into Legwand's spot between Patric Hornqvist and Colin Wilson. He won 50% of his faceoffs, drove play up-ice at even-strength, and scored that power play goal as well.
  • I hate to say I told ya so, but ... "The danger zone here is the Kings' 5-on-5 play, where their 28th-ranked shooting percentage is likely to rebound over the coming months, so the risk is that they've just been riding a cold-streak overall as a team". Despite all the PP's, 3 of L.A.'s 4 goals came at even strength.
  • Oh, and this? "Dustin Brown is known as a decent Top 6 winger and team captain, but he's shown the remarkable ability over the long haul to create power play opportunities for the Kings by drawing penalty calls". That PP goal for the Kings came thanks to a penalty Brown drew on Jerred Smithson in the first.
  • While Patric Hornqvist's kept his team-record tying goal-scoring streak alive, he took 3 penalties, too, which really hurt the Preds' cause.
  • Anders Lindback wasn't bad, wasn't great in his first start of the season, it was good to see him get some work.
  • All in all, this was a little frustrating, but given all the key players missing tonight, it was hardly unexpected. The NHL schedule shows no mercy, however, as the Preds head into Anaheim tomorrow night.
Lastly, your advanced even-strength stats (REMEMBER, EVEN-STRENGTH ONLY):
 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 Mike Fisher C 14:32 0 1 0 0 8 9 -1 14 13 +1
 Martin Erat R 14:08 2 0 0 0 10 10 0 14 14 0
 Jordin Tootoo R 13:47 1 1 0 0 4 11 -7 11 14 -3
 Craig Smith C 13:32 2 1 2 0 8 4 +4 16 11 +5
 Patric Hornqvist R 12:37 5 0 1 0 10 5 +5 15 9 +6
 Colin Wilson C 12:06 1 1 1 0 9 6 +3 19 10 +9
 Matt Halischuk R 11:27 3 2 0 0 7 6 +1 13 10 +3
 Blake Geoffrion C 8:53 0 1 2 1 1 6 -5 7 13 -6
 Niclas Bergfors R 8:36 0 1 0 1 1 6 -5 4 12 -8
 Jerred Smithson R 8:06 0 0 0 0 3 8 -5 4 9 -5
 Brian Mcgrattan R 3:42 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 5 -3
 David Legwand C 0:55 0 0 0 0 0 1 -1 0 1 -1
 Ryan Suter D 18:49 3 0 0 0 14 11 +3 22 18 +4
 Shea Weber D 17:31 2 3 0 0 12 11 +1 19 16 +3
 Francis Bouillon D 13:16 0 1 0 1 2 6 -4 9 13 -4
 Jonathon Blum D 12:42 1 2 0 0 5 8 -3 13 16 -3
 Jack Hillen D 10:47 0 0 0 0 4 6 -2 9 7 +2
 Teemu Laakso D 10:05 0 0 0 2 3 8 -5 8 12 -4
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