The Nashville Predators return home in a potential playoff preview versus the Los Angeles Kings.
The Nashville Predators return home after a frustrating battle with the Washington Caps which they ultimately lost 4-1.
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Filip Forsberg opened the scoring with a PP goal in the second period which was the only spark of life that the exhausted Predators had on the evening. The Capitals came into the game well rested and after a few beautiful Kuznetsov passes, the game was over.
Now the Nashville Predators focus their attention on the Pacific Division leading LA Kings which will be an exciting physical match up with playoff implications. Nashville should come into the evening well rested and exicited to have the next four games inside the loud rocking Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is 0-0-2 against LA this season and will be looking for some revenge.
Nashville and Los Angeles always have gritty, hard-fought hockey games and this one will surely follow suit.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings, who recently clinched a playoff berth,come into Monday’s game on a four game win streak after beating the Boston Bruins 2-1 at home Saturday night. On the Predators Website, Coach Lavy was quoted:
"“They’re playing really well right now,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of the Kings. “They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical, they’re good defensively, they have a good goaltender, they’re capable offensively and they have some talented players on their team.”"
Nashville and LA are almost identical in playing styles and overall roster break down so this one should be fun.
LA is looking to keep their hot streak alive and push the gap in the division. They are fighting back to the playoffs after missing last season. Once again, Anze Kopitar is leading the Kings in scoring with 65 points on the season. The Kings have were been given an extra boost when Milan Lucic became part of the roster last offseason. Once again the Kings are a solid group even with injuries to Kris Versteeg, Marian Gaborik and Matt Greene.
Neither one of these teams are going to take their foot off of the gas as both the Kings and the Preds are arguably the hottest teams in the NHL. Often, the Kings and the Predators need extra time to finish their meetings and this one has the chance of another overtime or shootout ending.
After a disappointing loss to a well-rested Capitals team, the Predators focus their attention on another difficult Western Conference opponent. The Predators come into Monday’s tilt only losing twice in regulation in the last 18 games. Nashville looks to potentially plug Eric Nystrom back into the line up as he has been out for an extended period of time with an injury.
The entire team is clicking where it needs to be. Sadly Tony Bitetto was sidelined in Friday’s game due to injury, but luckily the savvy veteran Barrett Jackman was well rested and eager to be put back in the line up. Nashville has always gone back and forth with the Kings going 5-0-3 in the last eight meetings and this one has the same entertainment value.
The Predators star forwards Filip Forsberg and James Neal are coming ever so closer to breaking Jason Arnott‘s franchise record of 33 goals in a single season. Even the defensive side of the team has been on fire as of late, killing off all 22 PP opportunities in their last seven games. The Predators are 29-25-9 all time against LA and look to find win number 30 in the series Monday night.
This game is going to be fun and extremely physical. Everything we have, the Kings have. The Kings are stacked with Doughty, Kopitar, Lucic, and Quick while we match them perfectly with Weber, Johansen, Neal, and Rinne. This game will follow similar stories in other matchups with Los Angeles and very well could see another exciting or dreadful overtime. Regulation or OT, the Predators will end the streak and get back on track, winning and starting the home-stand off on the right foot.
Every point matters for the Predators to close the distance to the leaders in the Central Division with only 10 games remaining in the regular season.
The Nashville Predators are back in action Thursday night looking for revenge against the old foe Vancouver Canucks in what will be another physical battle. The game against the Canucks is the second of a four game home-stand.