Predators @ Los Angeles Kings (Game 23): Preview

The Nashville Predators face off against the Los Angeles Kings for the final time this season at Staples Center. In the two matches, the Predators have won both, but the reigning Stanley Cup Champions will look to change that Monday night. Nashville has a record of 9-8-5 with 23 points and ranked 9th in the Western Conference. Los Angeles is 10-7-2 with 22 points and 10th in the West. Puck drops at 9:37pm CT/7:37pm PT.

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

Los Angeles: Fox Sports West and KTLK1150 AM

US: NHL Network-US

Canada: NHL Network-CA

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
1/31 NSH LAK 2-1 NSH SO
2/7 LAK NSH 0-3 NSH

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

Name W L OT GAA SV%
#35 Pekka Rinne 8 7 4 2.10 .921
#45 Jonathan Bernier 4 1 0 1.64 .931

Projected Nashville Scratches: #18 W Brandon Yip (doubtful; upper body) and #75 D Hal Gill (out; lower body)

Projected Los Angeles Scratches: #5 D Keaton Ellerby and #15 W Brad Richardson; #33 D Willie Mitchell (IR; knee) and #2 D Matt Greene (IR; back)

Projected Lines

Nashville

#33 Colin Wilson #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #27 Patric Hornqvist
#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #15 Craig Smith #16 Rich Clune
#13 Nick Spaling #28 Paul Gaustad #24 Matt Halischuk
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#8 Kevin Klein #4 Ryan Ellis
#22 Scott Hannan #7 Jonathon Blum
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason

Los Angeles

#23 Dustin Brown #11 Anze Kopitar #14 Justin Williams
#22 Trevor Lewis #10 Mike Richards #77 Jeff Carter
#25 Dustin Brown #28 Jarret Stoll #74 Dwight King
#13 Kyle Clifford #24 Colin Fraser #71 Jordan Nolan
#8 Drew Doughty #6 Jake Muzzin
#7 Rob Scuderi #26 Slava Voynov
#44 Davis Drewiske #27 Alec Martinez
#45 Jonathan Bernier
#32 Jonathan Quick

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Nashville is in a rut currently. The Preds have lost four of their last five games and have not been producing many goals. In five games, they have eight goals, with five of them coming in one game against the Dallas Stars, their only win of the past five games.

Head coach Barry Trotz will have to search for scoring in the lineup and are looking towards the younger players to "man up", as the coaching staff has said often lately. Players like Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith will have to get some scoring going because they are the go-to guys.

Pekka Rinne has been constantly bailing out his team night after night with little to no reward. It has to be difficult for the Vezina trophy candidate to be in this situation, but has seemed to just focus on his game.

The keys to victory for the Preds are 1) Kickstart the power play; 2) Put pressure, shots on net; and 3) Stay out of the penalty box.

Kings: Los Angeles is hot right winning seven of their last nine games. However, Saturday night they cooled down as the Vancouver Canucks game them a 5-2 reality check on the road. Head coach Darryl Sutter and the rest of the Kings are mad and want to get two points to patch up the embarrassing loss. 

LA starts a five game home stand and would love to be able to start it off with a win and to jump the slumping Predators in the standings. 

It appears Jonathan Quick will get the night off to prepare for the second of a back-to-back against the St. Louis Blues. Jonathan Bernier, who has played well against Nashville in his career, will get the nod in net for the Kings.

Los Angeles Kings' Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#11 Anze Kopitar 18 6 12
#23 Dustin Brown 19 6 4
#77 Jeff Carter 19 11 2

Who scores the first goal of the game for Predators? Win a Preds player t-shirt, info here.

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