Nashville Predators 2, Kings 1
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Unable to build on their momentum from Saturday night’s shutout victory against the visiting Blackhawks, the Kings managed a late goal Monday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, but ultimately came up winless for the ninth time in their last 12 games.
THE STAT: The Kings, the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, traded for high-scoring forward Jeff Carter on Thursday, then went out and scored four goals in their victory against the Blackhawks two days later. They continued their trend of failing to follow up with a similar offensive effort, however. In the 13 games in which they’ve scored four or more goals this season, they’re averaging 1.7 goals the following game.
TURNING POINT: The Nashville front office sent a message earlier in the day that it's serious about making a Stanley Cup championship run this season, making a couple key trade-deadline acquisitions that should help the Predators get into the playoffs and beyond. Nashville played as if it wanted to return the favor and grabbed a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by Roman Josi, improving to 26-2-3 when scoring first this season.
HOT: The Kings cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Dustin Brown with 3:24 remaining in the game. It was the fourth goal in two games for the team captain, who was the object of wide-spread trade rumors late last week. Unfortunately for the Kings, they were unable to get even down the stretch.
NOT: Kings center Mike Richards, probably the happiest guy in the locker room after they acquired his good friend Carter, took one shot that was blocked, was a minus-1 and committed a team-high two giveaways.
GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Darryl Sutter kept Dustin Penner in the lineup in place of Brad Richardson and he continues to work hard, taking four shots on goal. He has nine shots on net in the last two games after sitting out five of the previous six as a healthy scratch.
BAD MOVE: Seconds after Carter hit the post on a wrist shot from 35 feet, the Predators surged ahead, 2-0, when Patric Hornqvist jumped on rebound and scored his 18thgoal of the season. Just before the goal, the Kings reacted as if they thought icing would be called. Richards then over-skated the puck along the end boards and David Legwand collected it for Nashville. He passed to Sergei Kostitsyn, whose shot was saved by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, but Hornqvist was there for the rebound.
NOTABLE: The Predators are now 17-2-2 in their last 21 games on home ice … Kostitsyn’s older brother, Andrei, was traded to Nashville earlier in day ... The Kings came in 20-6-3 when scoring a power-play goal this season, but were 0-for-1 against the Predators.
UP NEXT: Tuesday at Minnesota, 4:30 p.m. PT.