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Nashville Predators @ Los Angeles Kings: West Coast Closer

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One more late night game to cap off this West Coast swing.

Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Predators reminded the Ducks who really runs Anaheim last night with a big 5-3 win over their salty rivals where 12 different Preds players tallied points.

Since they won’t have any time between games to hit up Disneyland and celebrate Pekka Rinne’s birthday (he’s an NHL goal tender in case you haven’t heard) extra stick taps for his assist on P.K. Subban’s goal will have to do.

Now we head up the coast to Los Angeles to take on the Kings. For health reasons we really only have room in our hearts for a seething hatred of one California team, and that title belongs the Ducks...unlike the 2016-2017 Western Conference Championship. Hey-oh!

Alright, moving on!

The Los Angeles Kings

The Kings are currently sitting on top of the Western Conference after a hot October start. They’re already 10-2-1 and tied with St. Louis with 21 points. It’s a welcome change for a team that two seasons ago couldn’t get their offense going if you jump-started them.

After missing the playoffs last year and firing head coach Darryl Sutter, the Kings are back in the business of producing. New captain Anze Kopitar already has 7 goals and 15 points, followed by former captain Dustin Brown with 6 goals and 13 points. Not only are their top offensive guys scoring, but their secondary players are scoring as well. It’s the difference maker that can carry or bury teams at this point in the season.

Jonathan Quick seems to have returned to form after missing most of last season due to injury. He’s 8-2-1 in his first 11 starts, posting a .939 Sv% with 1.99 GAA. He’s off to a great start, and it helps having Drew Doughty leading the defense in front of him, clocking over 26 minutes of ice time per night with 3 goals and 9 points so far.

The Preds will be tested at both ends of the ice tonight.

The Nashville Predators

Despite a glorious victory against the Ducks, the Preds are still playing back to back games on the road. Things didn’t go too well for the Preds the last time they were in this situation.

We’ve been yelling, and screaming, and selling souls at the crossroads to get the Predators offense to do something...anything. Tweaking the lines seemed to finally spark some urgency against the Ducks with 12 different players notching points. However, until that urgency finds a consistent hunger to score, consider the offense still fairly dormant.

While trade rumors were mentioning big moves involving Nashville last night, those talks are all apparently off the table now, meaning it’s probably still going to be some time before we see the Preds find their missing offensive spark.

The good news is guys like Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, and Mattias Ekholm are stepping up and doing what they can to find the back of the net.

It’s hard to imagine we’ll see Rinne start on a back to back against two heavyweights like the Ducks and the Kings, but never say never. While sitting Juuse Saros isn’t going to help him or condition him to be the backup goalie everyone wants him to be, if Rinne’s feeling confident, seeing him start won’t be a surprise.

Reasons to Watch

  • Johansen goal watch. Come on RyJo, you got this!
  • Roman Josi - the Captain has been incredible since coming back from injury. Seriously...he’s really good at hockey. Who knew!
  • The last 9 pm puck drop and daylight savings time ends - drink the good coffee, stay up, watch the game, enjoy that extra hour of sleep. We’ve earned it this week.

Sights and Sounds

Puck drop is at 9:00pm central time. You can catch the game on Fox Sports South or listen-in at 102.5 The Game.