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Cechmanek left with bruised hip

12/12/2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- After giving up leads in their last two
games on the road trip, the Los Angeles Kings weren't going to let
it happen again.

Ziggy Palffy scored two goals and added an assist in the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Luc Robitaille and Jason Holland also scored for the Kings, who
are 3-0-0-2 in their last five games.

"We regrouped and played well," Palffy said. "One of the keys
for us is that we have to play consistent. One of things we have to
remember is that if you are working hard on the ice, you are going
to get chances."

The Kings continued their domination of the Predators in
Nashville, improving to 8-0-2 in their last 10 meetings there.

"They are no different than any other team we've played,"
Predators captain Greg Johnson said. "I don't know if it is a
mental block or what, but we just haven't got it done against
them."

Kings goalie Roman Cechmanek left at 11:33 of the first period
after bruising his hip when he collided with the Predators' David
Legwand and didn't return. Cechmanek, who stopped all seven shots
he faced, had skated out to the left circle to stop a play when
Legwand collided with him.

"I was just out there trying to stop the puck," Cechmanek
said. "Everything just happened so fast. After the first couple of
seconds while I was on my back on the ice, I was scared. But
eventually I started feeling better."

Cristobal Huet replaced Cechmanek and stopped 29 of 30 shots.

"Huet has played pretty well," Nashville coach Barry Trotz
said. "He came in and it was a tough situation for him. I believe
he responded pretty well. We put some pretty good rubber on him."

Nashville prevented being shutout for the second time this
season by the Kings when Martin Erat fired a wrist shot from the
top of the right circle that went over Huet's right shoulder.

The Kings struck first when Palffy skated to his left around a
crowd in front of the crease and put the puck in an open net at
8:57 of the first period.

Robitaille scored the second goal for the Kings at 12:04 of the
second period when Mark Cammalleri shot the puck high in the air.
No one could find it for a few moments, but Robitaille skated in
and put the puck in.

The Kings made it a 3-0 game at 13:39 of the second period when
Holland scored his first goal of the season with a wrister from the
top of the slot that went just inside the left post.

Palffy scored an empty net goal with 5 seconds left to make it
4-1.

"One of the weaknesses of this team in the past is that we get
in a slump and stay in one," Johnson said. "We have to snap right
out of this and get some momentum going at home."

Game Notes: Nashville recalled defenseman Andrew Hutchinson from
Milwaukee, but made him a healthy scratch. Cammalleri has a
four-game points streak with three goals and two assists. Los
Angeles' Martin Straka had one assist in the game, giving him a
five-game points streak (three goals, four assists). The Predators
had their four-game home winning streak stopped.