The Nashville Predators defeated the defending Stanely Cup champ Los Angeles Kings by the score of 4-3 via the shootout on Tuesday night to take over the first-place spot in the Central Division standings.
The first twenty-minutes of play held a lot of back and forth hockey.
The Predators and Kings swapped shots back and forth before Craig Smith lit the lamp for Nashville to give his team a one-goal advantage.
Smith received a pass from Colin Wilson as he streaked through the neutral zone and found himself one-on-one with Kings’ netminder Martin Jones. Smith sent a fantastic wrist shot into the back of the net through the five-hole of Jones. Wilson and Anton Volchenkov were credited with the assists of the goal that came with 13:36 remaining in the opening period. The assist was Wilson’s fourth-point in five-games.
The Kings would not allow the one-goal lead of the Predators stand for long.
Just over six-minutes after the Smith goal the Kings tied the game up at one a piece courtesy of a Jamie McBain tip-in goal. McBain found himself in the right place as Justin Williams sent a shot on net that caught McBain’s skate and deflected past Pekka Rinne to tie the game.
For the most part, a majority of the play was seen in the Kings zone as the Predators sustained a lot of pressure and managed to outshoot the Kings 12-7 in the first period.
The second period held plenty of back and forth play just as the first did.
The Kings would find the back of the net and take a one-goal lead just 1:01 into the middle frame. Marian Gaborik showed his speed in streaking down the middle of the ice, sneak behind the defense, and receive an exceptional lob pass from Jeff Carter to out race Ryan Ellis and send a wrist shot past Rinne’s left-shoulder.
The Kings’ one-goal advantage did not stick for too long as Nashville tied things up late in the second period courtesy of a blistering Ellis slap shot.
The Ellis goal would not have been accomplished if it wasn’t for the great play behind the net made by Wilson to keep the puck in the Kings’ zone. Wilson controlled the puck and zipped a pass to Ellis at the blue-line to see Ellis zip a shot past Jones to knot things up at two-goals a piece. Smith was credited with the secondary assist.
The Predators wouldn’t be done scoring in the second period. Fifty-two seconds after the Ellis goal Shea Weber sent a shot on net that deflected off of the Kings’ netminder to Taylor Beck who spun and sent a shot on net to find Eric Nystrom posted in front of the net to tip a go ahead goal into the back of the net. Beck’s assist was his fourth-point in as many games.
Nashville out shot Los Angeles 8-7 in the middle frame and lead in the total shots category 20-14.
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Back and forth play would show it’s teeth again in the third period and conclude a fantastic set of regulation time of hockey.
Just as the period started Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty went coast-to-coast and sent a wrist shot past Rinne to tie things up at three-goals a piece just thirty-eight seconds into the final frame.
For the most part, the more exciting play of the third period came when the teams were on the power play and the penalty kill. The Predators had to face two penalty kills after an illegal check to the head committed by Weber with just over seven-minutes left in regulation and again with just over three-minutes left in the game after a James Neal hi-sticking penalty.
The Kings also had to kill off a penalty earlier in the period but neither team would find the back of the net with the man advantage.
The Predators out shot the Kings 9-6 in the third period and the game headed into overtime.
Nashville held the advantage in the overtime period seeing how Filip Forsberg deked his way through the Kings’ zone and sent a wrister off the post. Moments later Neal sent a wrist shot that trickled past the post. The Predators received a powerplay late in the overtime period and Weber sent a slap shot off the post.
Neither team would score and the game made its way to the shootout. An entertaining and stressful shootout it would be.
After each team sent out five-shooters a piece Neal finally got his chance and he would deliver giving the Predators a 1-0 lead in the shootout.
Rinne would then stop Dwight King’s wrist shot to end the game after a plethora of shooters in the shootout.
- Rinne stopped 18 of 21 shots.
- Calle Jarnkrok and James Neal lead the team with five-shots on net.
- Shea Weber lead all Predators in ice time with 27:49 of play.
- The Predators now sit atop the Central Division.