Nashville Predators 3, Los Angeles Kings 2
It took 59 minutes and 33 seconds of Saturday’s game, but the Nashville Predators snapped their five-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Preds scored the game’s first goal for the first time since Dec. 14 against San Jose, and their first opening period marker in four outings, when Patric Hornqvist banged home a loose puck at 14:42 of the opening frame. The goal broke a scoreless drought of six games for Hornqvist, and the Predators are now 7-1-0 when he scores.
Nashville would hold the lead until the 7:05 mark of the second period.
With Paul Gaustad in the box for tripping, Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov moved the puck along the Kings blueline before connecting Anze Kopitar in the slot, who then used a screen to get a shot past Marek Mazanec to even the score.
With the Preds on a power play late in the third, Mike Fisher collected a weak clearing attempt at the centerline, wheeled into the Kings zone and rifled a shot past Ben Scrivens to put Nashville up 2-1 with less than four minutes remaining. It was Nashville’s ninth power-play goal in its last eight outings.
As the final seconds ticked down in the period, the Kings would tally an extra-attacker goal when Jeff Carter fired the puck past Mazanec with 37 seconds remaining.
Even with the late goal, the Preds would not be denied, as Fisher once again drove into Los Angeles’ zone, caught a pass from Colin Wilson and buried a shot past Scrivens to secure the win for Nashville.
The game winner was Fisher’s third point of the night (2g-1a), his second multi-point game of the season and first three-point game since Feb. 21, 2012 against Vancouver (1g-2a), as he picked up First Star honors.
Two Things and Notes:
Hornqvist pocketed a goal and an assist on the night to complete his third multiple-point outing of the year. With his goal, Hornqvist is now just one goal shy of moving into a tie for seventh on the club’s all-time goal-scoring list. His two-point outing moved the Swedish forward into fourth in team scoring and goals (8g-12a-20pts).
For Jones, the multi-point game (2a) was the first of his budding career. The effort also gave the blueliner three points (3a) in his last three outings. Jones now ranks 17th among first-year players in points (3g-10a-13pts), while his 10 helpers are tied for 11th among rookies.
Power Play Stays Hot: Nine of Nashville’s last 18 goals have come on the man advantage, including power-play tallies in seven of the team’s last eight games. The Preds power play remains one of the League’s most potent (seventh, 21 percent), while Nashville’s home power play ranks among the League’s Top Five (fourth, 24.6 percent). The Preds are now 14-3-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 14 points (7g-7a) on the man advantage this season.
QUICK START: The Predators opened the scoring for the first time since a Dec. 14 victory over San Jose. Nashville is now 14-1-2 when scoring first this season. Los Angeles had allowed just 17 first-period goals in 38 games entering tonight’s matchup – the lowest total in the NHL.
FINISHING STRONG: After failing to register double-digit shot totals in the first and second periods, Nashville posted 15 shots on goal in the final frame.
Mike Fisher has been peppering opposing goaltenders with shots as of late – tonight was his third game with at least five shots in his last six contests.
Seth Jones played 19:08, his highest ice time total since Dec. 5 vs. Carolina.
Goaltender Marek Mazanec picked up his first win since being named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November.
Shea Weber led all skaters with 29:52 of ice time – just 24 hours after recording a regular-season career-high 32:23 on Friday night in Dallas. Nashville’s captain ranks fourth in the NHL in the category (26:42). Weber has been making the most of his time on ice of late, with points in seven of his last eight games, and he now finds himself a single point back of 10th place in scoring among blueliners.