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Nashville Predators 4, Los Angeles Kings 7: Kings Defeat Predators in Home Opener

In the Los Angeles Kings’ home opener, the Predators silenced the home crowd early with a goal from Mikael Granlund five minutes after puck drop. The Kings tried to even the score on a power play with Dan Hamhuis in the box, but the Predators’ penalty killers were successful.

Michael Amadio tied the game for the Kings at 8:47 of the first period. Anze Kopitar added another for the Kings on an odd-man rush to put the Kings up by one goal. Nashville’s first power play of the evening was rather lackluster, and the Predators were lucky to escape the first period down by just a goal.

The Predators struggled to exit their zone in the second period and the Kings were able to capitalize with a third goal. The early portion of the second frame was a disaster. Nashville couldn’t even get shots on net, disrupted at every opportunity by the Kings. The Predators went back on the power play with 9:30 left in the second, but the visitors were once again unable to get any solid chances on Kings goaltender Jack Campbell.

Juuse Saros was the victim of an onslaught of shots from Los Angeles for nearly the whole contest. While his team couldn’t find a reliable way to exit the zone without taking a penalty, Saros was able to keep the game within reach for the Predators. Dan Hamhuis was whistled for another penalty, but Alex Martinez was quickly sent to the box for slashing Colton Sissons. The Predators couldn’t buy a goal in at 4-on-4 or during their brief power play, and Ilya Kovalchuk cashed in on a weirdly bouncing puck for their fourth goal of the night.

Viktor Arvidsson, from a seated position, managed to bring the Predators within two goals right at the beginning of the third period. His effort and grind are always effective when the Predators are working from a deficit. The Nashville power play finally converted with less than ten minutes left thanks to some net-front presence by Matt Duchene.

Less than thirty seconds later, Ryan Ellis’s long-range shot from the blue line leaked behind Campbell, tipped by Sissons, for the tying goal with 8:30 remaining in the game. Alex Iafallo put the Kings up 5-4 with less than a minute remaining in the game. Anze Kopitar sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, and Los Angeles added a second empty-netter to defeat Nashville 7-4.

Random Observations

  • I like the Kings’ gray and black sweaters. Those are pretty slick.
  • Mikael Granlund’s second of the season was b-e-a-utiful.
  • Calle Järnkrok can put on the jets.
  • Uh, you can’t kick sticks like that.
  • The Kings have a ton of momentum. Ew.
  • Holy Juuse Saros.
  • This game is going very poorly.
  • Dan Hamhuis takes two penalties tonight. Can he not?
  • Ew.
  • Viktor Arvidsson’s grit and determination CANNOT be underestimated.
  • Holy comeback goals!
  • Momentum is such a weird thing.
  • The final 7 minutes of the game have been more exciting than the other 53 minutes.
  • A late goal by Los Angeles and an empty-netter seal the deal.
  • Another empty netter just…because. /

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Matt Duchene: You absolutely have to love his net-front presence. The new guy can also draw some penalties and establishes a strong anchor for Nashville wingers.
  2. Viktor Arvidsson: Grit, grind, and determination. The Preds could use a big serving of whatever #33 likes to have as his pre-game meal.

Tweets of the Game

Game Video