For 40 minutes, the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings played a pretty tight affair, but in the third period, the wheels came off Nashville's proverbial wagon, and the Kings pulled away with a 4-2 win. Turnovers, sloppy changes, and a lack of hustle defensively left Pekka Rinne without much support in this one. In total, L.A. out-shot Nashville 27-21.
The good news is that they get right back to work tomorrow evening at Anaheim, with a chance to put this loss behind them.
Follow after the jump for your highlights and breakdown...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- It was a rather craptacular start, for sure. It's always mind-boggling to see Colin Wilson scratched over guys like Tootoo (who is playing pretty poorly right now), Bourque, Yip, and Halischuk. And to think Willy was sore before... I can't imagine this will help his attitude.
- By the way, Ryan Ellis, who was also scratched, is the only Predator with a Corsi north of the .500 mark on the season when you look at "close" situations (i.e., not garbage time when one team has a big lead). Wilson, at .483, has one of the better marks among the forwards.
- The Kings got away with a lot of rough stuff (especially on Hornqvist), so it was great to see the Preds make them pay on the power play. Marty should feel free to shoot quickly more often, most guys play him to handle the puck.
- Dustin Penner has been criticized for conditioning and effort for quite a while, but his goal to put L.A. up 2-1 was a thing of beauty, just pure hustle to get to the far post and tap the centering pass behind Peks.
- As to the third Kings goal (by King, no less), ugh was that nasty. Bourque put his pass right into Tootoo's skates, and as Carter poked it away, the Nashville D both went off for a change.
- That Clifford goal (the 4th) looked like a cheapie from a beer league. Tootoo just let him get free, and the rest of the gang was lackadaisical skating back. It was funny, actually, because I was chatting on Twitter with J.R. and Josh Cooper that L.A. likes to use the lob pass, and that's exactly how that goal played out.
- All in all, this was not an impressive effort by the Predators, and you have to wonder how motivated they are to pass the Red Wings for 4th in the West. The Kings need every point they can get right now just to make the playoffs, so perhaps they had the extra urgency.