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Nashville Predators 2, Los Angeles Kings 1: Craig Smith And Viktor Stalberg Power Preds To A Win

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The Predators ended their mini goal draught and got a win in Los Angeles tonight.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Since everyone is enjoying themselves at the watch party in Cool Springs tonight, I suppose someone has to stay back and take care of the recap. That and the fact that I don't live in Nashville anymore makes me the perfect candidate I guess.

It was a playoff atmosphere in Los Angeles tonight as the Kings and the Preds played a fast paced, hard hitting, high intensity game in the Staples Center. Both teams traded chances all game long, but in the end, it was Nashville that got the last laugh with a win, and two very crucial points.

The game started out looking like the Predators were going to score early and often in this one. That was not the case when Jeff Carter scored to put the Kings on the board first. The scoring non existent in the second period. But that wasn't because of lack of shots. Both teams had some great chances, but they just weren't able to convert. It took almost two games, but Craig Smith finally got the Preds a goal that they have been needing for a while. That goal is all the Preds needed to get going it seems like. Because Viktor Stalberg scored just a minute after Smith's goal.

Random Observations

  • Maybe the fact that the Blues have finally caught (and overtook) the Preds in the standings lit a fire under this teams rear end. They came out fast and hard. If it wasn't for Jonathan Quick making some huge saves, this game could have been 2-0 in the first five minutes. The Predators are going to have to play like this for the rest of the season if they have any hope of winning the division. They are tied with the Blues in points, but the Blues have two games in hand. It is going to be a nerve wrecking last month of the season.
  • Giving up an early goal in the first period seems about right for this game. And of course it would be Carter. He is a thorn in the side of all things Predators. I am pretty sure he has like 3,243,685 points against Nashville in his career. #fancystats.
  • How much longer can the Preds go without scoring a goal after all the chances they have had. You have to think that the frustration level has to boil over at some point.  Nashville has been throwing everything at the opposing goaltenders as of late, and still have very little to show for it.
  • Is it just me, or did Seth Jones just play awful this game. Right from the beginning whistle, he blew a skate out coming around the boards. All game long just looked nervous and scared out there. It almost seemed like he didn't know where to be on the ice and what times. He really needs to step his game up coming down the home stretch of the season.
  • Smith pretty much scores when he wants. Or at least that how it feels. He has been a real difference maker for Nashville this season. Smith is the type of player that can swing a playoff series.
  • 1:06 seconds separated the Smith and Stalberg goals. It is nice to see the Preds of early this season again.
  • Does anybody else feel like they go through a various range of emotions in a matter of minutes when watch a Predators' game? Just me???

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Craig Smith: He was forcing turnover after turnover out there tonight. Oh, and he scored a goal.
  • Viktor "Please don't send me back to Milwaukee" Stalberg: He just finds ways to score goals.
  • Everyone who made it out to the OTF watch party in Cool Springs. You the real MVP.

Tweets Of The Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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