Calle Jarnkrok tallied his first career hat trick to lead the Nashville Predators over the Los Angeles Kings.
Finally back in Smashville after a long road-trip, the Nashville Predators hoped to get back to their winning ways against the Los Angeles Kings. Down P.K. Subban and Viktor Arvidsson due to injury, the Predators got help in a big way from Calle Jarnkrok, who recently returned from an injury of his own. The Kings weren’t without their own issues. Struggling in the early goings of the year and now on to their 4th goaltender in young Cal Petersen.
The first period began with the Predators attacking hard on the forecheck, trying to force turnovers in front of Petersen and get him in high-pressure, high-anxiety situations early on. Petersen was up to the challenge, stopping all 14 shots he faced in the opening period. On the other end, Pekka Rinne was forced to make a number of gorgeous saves to keep the game goalless at one point stopping three or four LA Kings shots in a row from close range. The Predators ultimately left a few goals on the ice, however, with Petersen making some excellent saves and Filip Forsberg missing the net right at the end of the period with Petersen on his belly trying to make a desperation save. The period ended with the score knotted at zero and the Predators leading the Kings in shots, 14 to 12.
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The second period got a little wild. Around the 18:33 mark, some excellent Predators defense in the neutral zone resulted in a break-away for Nick Bonino. He was hauled down and the Preds went on the power play. With the clock reading 16:42, Kyle Turris took a pass from Ryan Ellis on a one-timer and buzzed it top corner on the glove side of Cal Petersen. THe Preds much-maligned power play had broken through!
Around 30 seconds, later Filip Forsberg went to the box for slashing, and just after his penalty expired, Nate Thompson gathered a rebound and potted the goal to tie the game with 14:05 left in the period. Just 19 seconds later, Anze Kopitar scored off a turnover behind the Predators goal line to take the lead.
At the 11:55 mark, playing 4-on-4 hockey, Calle Jarnkrok took a pass from Ellis and put it behind Petersen to tie the game, beginning his great evening. However, it was only two minutes and five seconds later that the Kings put a third goal on the board courtesy of Alex Iafallo.
In a span of six minutes and 57 seconds, the game went from 0-0 to 3-2 in favor of the Kings. A great chance of the stick of Ryan Johansen was denied by an even better save from young Cal Petersen to send the game into the 2nd intermission with the Kings leading by one goal. The Preds could look to their 48 to 27 shots attempted advantage to see that they were doing some good things and just needed to keep at it.
The third period was all Nashville. The boys in gold applied pressure to the Kings defense and were finally able to get pucks on net, wearing away at the wall that was Cal Petersen on the night. With 14:16 left in regulation, Calle Jarnkrok scored his second of the game, this time on the power play, giving the Preds their second PP goal of the night, and more importantly, tying the game at three goals a piece.
Perhaps, Jarnkrok hadn’t fully switched over. Upon forcing a turnover, the young Swede skated toward the KIngs’ net and fired home the goal with 8:06 left to complete his hat-trick that consisted of an even-strength goal, a power-play goal, and now a short-handed goal.
Nick Bonino would add an empty-net goal to round out the scoring and get the Predators back in the win column by a score of 5-3.
3rd Star: Roman Josi – 2 Assists
2nd Star: Ryan Ellis – 2 Assists
1st Star: Calle Jarnkrok – 3 goals (EV, PP, and SH)