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KINGS (4-3-0) at PREDATORS (3-3-0)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee (Dish: 446/HD: 9516; Direct TV: 644/HD: 644-1 ; Comcast Nashville 1675; Comcast Chattanooga/Cleveland/Knoxville 401; Comcast Memphis 830; Charter Nashville 33/810; AT&T Nashville 724/1724)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
THEY COME IN PAIRS
After Ryan Ellis recorded the Preds first multi-point effort of the season on Saturday night against the New York Islanders, Nashville responded with three multiple point outings on Tuesday.
• Shea Weber posted his first goal of the season and followed that up with his second assist of the year on Craig Smith’s third period goal. It was Weber’s 54th career multi-point game and his first since April 23, 2013, when he tallied two helpers against Calgary.
• Smith also potted his first goal and his third helper of the year en route to being named the game’s First Star. It was his eighth career multi-point game. With his effort on Tuesday, Smith has points in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
• With his multiple point effort (1g-1a), Mike Fisher now leads the team in points (2g-3a-5pts) and is tied for the team goals lead (Hornqvist). Tuesday night’s effort was Fisher’s 18th career multi-point outing and his first since April 25, 2013 against Detroit (1g-1a).
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
The Predators rank third in team face-off win percentage this season (56.2 percent). Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 81-of-121 draws (66.9 percent) this season to lead the League in the category. The 6-5, 220-pound center has ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the category in each of the last four seasons. David Legwand is currently tied for sixth in the League in face-off efficiency after going 49 for 83 this season (59 percent).
Nashville outshot the opposition for the fourth time in six games on Tuesday night, and has now outshot its opponent in three straight games (by a total of 97-67). With the 30-25 margin against the Panthers, the Predators have fired an average of 29.8 shots on goal, while allowing just 27.5 shots on goal – the seventh-fewest shots against per game in the League.
POWER PLAY CLICKING
After being held without a power-play goal through the first two games of the season, the Preds have recorded four power-play goals in their last four outings, and have won each game in which they’ve scored a man-advantage goal.
Patric Hornqvist’s game-winning power-play goal on Tuesday night was just the latest in a string of significant man-advantage markers for the Preds this season. Both Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones potted their first career goals on the power play. With Hornqvist’s goal, the Preds have now moved into the top half of the League in power-play success rate at 22.2 percent (T-12th). The Sollentuna, Sweden native's 29 power-play goals since the start of the 2009-10 season lead the team (two goals ahead of Shea Weber).
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
Nashville closes out its five-game homestand against the Kings on Thursday night after posting a 3-1-0 record at home thus far. The Predators have been one of the League’s best teams on home ice since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, compiling 195 home victories, fourth most in the NHL in that span. Nashville is the only team in the NHL to post at least 23 home victories in seven consecutive full seasons. The Preds have also sold out a 35 of their last 41 home games dating back to March 6, 2012 vs. Los Angeles.
Rookies Seth Jones and Filip Forsberg both recorded an assist on Tuesday night against the Panthers. The helper gives Jones points in back-to-back games after posting his first career goal on Saturday against the Islanders. Among rookies, the Arlington, Texas native ranks second in time on ice (23:02) and power-play goals (1), third in shots on goal (16), and is tied for ninth in points (1g-2a-3pts). Forsberg’s assist was his first point since recording first career goal on Oct. 8 vs. Minnesota. Forsberg is tied for 16th among first year players with two points (1g-1a).
Nashville is one of two teams to field multiple teenagers in their lineup this season with Jones and Forsberg holding two roster spots (both 19). Buffalo is the only other team with three teenagers in its lineup.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 4, Florida 3 at Bridgestone Arena
• Nashville won consecutive games for the first time this season.
• Nashville (3-0), Los Angeles (3-0) Detroit (4-0) and Vancouver (3-0) are the only teams in the NHL to win multiple one-goal games this season.
• David Legwand played his 900th career game, recording an assist on the night.
• Gabriel Bourque posted his first point of the season with his assist on Craig Smith’s third period goal.
• Matt Cullen and Paul Gaustad led Nashville in the face-off circle. Cullen won five-of-eight (63 percent), while Gaustad won 14-of 23-draws (61 percent) - his fifth game at 60 percent or better this season.
• Kevin Klein led the Predators in ice time for the first time this season (24:11).
• Nashville was shorthanded a single time, a season low, and has kept the opposition from scoring on the power play in two straight games.
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. LOS ANGELES
Nashville and Los Angeles begin their three-game 2013-14 series tonight at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville won two-of-three a season ago, and have won 11-of-19 games against the Kings since the beginning of the 2008-09 season (11-8-0). The Kings are the only Western Conference team that the Predators have a winning record against on the road (14-11-3), but a losing record against at home (10-14-3).
These teams last met at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 7, 2013. Pekka Rinne recorded his first of what would be three shutouts in a four-start span, and Colin Wilson had two goals in the 3-0 victory, giving him seven points (4g-3a) in 13 career games against L.A. In the team’s last visit out West, the Predators tied a club mark by scoring four times in an eight-round shootout, while Rinne stopped 23 shots in regulation and five-of-eight L.A. shooters to claim a 2-1 win.
Gabriel Bourque notched the game-winning goal in the Feb. 7 matchup, and has four points (2g-2a) in six career games against the Kings… Patric Hornqvist has 10 points (7g-3a) in 15 career games against L.A… Rich Clune was claimed on waivers from Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2013. During the 2009-10 campaign, he played his first 14 NHL regular season games (0g-2a, 26 PIM) – and four playoff contests (0g-0a, 5 PIM) – with the Kings, and was with the organization from 2006-13.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS VS. LOS ANGELES
• Patric Hornqvist recorded his most recent multi-goal game against the Kings on March 6, 2012.
• David Legwand tied his career-high six penalty minutes against Los Angeles. on Oct. 25, 2008. Legwand also converted his most recent penalty shot attempt vs. L.A. on Dec. 23, 2006 (Dan Cloutier).
• Viktor Stalberg attempted his most recent penalty shot against Jonathan Quick on March 11, 2012 at Staples Center (with the Blackhawks).