9:30 PM CT – Nashville Predators (1-2-3) @ Los Angeles Kings (2-2-1)
TV: FS Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- For the second time in their last three games, the Predators were shut out Monday in Phoenix. The Predators were outplayed by the Coyotes, as Pekka Rinne was hung out to dry in the 4-0 loss. Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists for Phoenix.
LA- Down 2-0 to Vancouver early in the second period, the Kings climbed back into the game and tied it in the final minute. Jonathan Quick backstopped the 3-2 shootout win, the Kings’ second victory in a row.
Players to watch:
NSH- Shea Weber
The Predators need their captain to step up on both ends of the ice. Weber, who has zero points, is currently mired in his worst offensive slump to start a season in his career.
LA- Jeff Carter
Carter, who is coming off a nice game against Vancouver, lit up the Predators last season with five goals and three assists in seven games.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 0-2-3, 2.67 GAA)
LA- Jonathan Quick (2012-13 stats: 2-2-1, 2.76 GAA)
Projected depth charts:
|Colin Wilson||Mike Fisher||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||David Legwand||Brandon Yip|
|Nick Spaling||Craig Smith||Sergei Kostitsyn|
|Richard Clune||Paul Gaustad||Matt Halischuk|
|Brian McGrattan||Patric Hornqvist*|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Scott Hannan||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Hal Gill||Ryan Ellis|
|Los Angeles Kings|
|Dustin Brown||Anze Kopitar||Justin Williams|
|Kyle Clifford||Mike Richards||Jeff Carter|
|Simon Gagne||Jarret Stoll||Trevor Lewis|
|Jordan Nolan||Dwight King||Colin Fraser|
|Dustin Penner||Brad Richardson|
|Rob Scuderi||Drew Doughty||Jonathan Quick|
|Alec Martinez||Slava Voynov||Jonathan Bernier|
|Davis Drewiskie||Jake Muzzin|
NSH- Patric Hornqvist (knee, out)
LA- Willie Mitchell (knee, out), Matt Greene (back, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Get back to Predator Hockey… When the Preds look in the mirror right now, they don’t see their identity: Predator Hockey. In this shortened season, they can’t afford to continue in this funk. They can get out of this dry spell by forechecking and being tenacious on the puck, which in turn could result in more shots and scoring chances. With road games in San Jose and St. Louis looming, it could be argued tonight is a must-win – and it won’t be easy against the defending champs.
LA- Use size to advantage… One reason why the Kings have won seven of the last nine head-to-head meetings is their size advantage; it gives the Predators fits. The Kings have seven skaters on the roster who are 6-foot-3 or taller; the Predators only have four. For the Kings to stave off their desperate, road-weary opponent tonight, they need to utilize that size along the boards and in front of the net.
Numbers to know:
- 2011-12 season series vs. Los Angeles: 3-1-0 Kings
- The Preds are 1-2-1 on the road this season … Los Angeles is 1-1-0 at home.
- All-time, the Preds are 13-10-(0)-3 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. They dropped both games in L.A. in 2011-12.
- Pekka Rinne is 5-5-0 with a 3.14 GAA and .884 save percentage in 10 career games vs. Los Angeles. His counterpart, Jonathan Quick, is 1-4-1 with a 3.17 GAA and .888 save percentage in 6 career games vs. Nashville.
- Martin Erat has 27 points in 35 career games vs. Los Angeles.
- Sergei Kostitsyn has 8 points in 9 career games vs. Los Angeles.
- Power play: Nashville (21.0%, 14th) … Los Angeles (3.7%, 30th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (79.0%, 17th) … Los Angeles (85.2%, 8th)
On December 23, 2006, the Predators routed Los Angeles at home, 7-0. Early in the third period, with Nashville leading 6-0, Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier unleashed his frustration on Scott Hartnell…