The Nashville Predators lost 5-4 to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night in front of a sold out Bridgestone Arena. The Kings are the only team that the Predators have a winning record on the road, but maintain a losing home record against. Nashville is 9-14-3 against the Kings at Bridgestone Arena.
It was Nashville’s first regulation loss on home ice in 13 games. The last regulation loss at Bridgestone Arena was a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on January 5th.
Predators forward Martin Erat says the team could not keep it together in their own end. “Today wasn’t our best game. We made some bad defensive mistakes and from there it was just like a snowball. We could never really get into the game,” he said.
With the Kings up 2-1 in the second period, Erat scored at 9:16 of the middle frame to tie the game. The goal was Erat’s 15th of the season. Erat now has 24 points in his last 27 games including 6 goals and 18 assists. “We had a good breakout. Roman [Josi] made a good play on the wall. We had a good give-and-go with Fisher. I just shot it around the defenseman and took it to the net,” Erat explained after the game.
The Kings retook the lead just over three minutes later on a Drew Doughty goal. The Predators ended up tying the game on an unassisted goal from Sergei Kostitsyn but Los Angeles scored twice in the first three minutes of the third period to take a 5-3 lead.
Nashville could not maintain momentum after any goal and Erat noted the lack of momentum in the third period hurt the team. ”When we were going into the third period tied, especially on home ice, we need to close the deal and we were unable to do it tonight,” he said.
Head Coach Barry Trotz also noted the inability to maintain momentum on Tuesday night. “They got the lead, and then we responded. You talk about putting back-to-back shifts, maintaining momentum, getting them unnerved a little bit – we didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We scored to get it tied up, and they didn’t even finish announcing our goal and they score. To me, that’s not acceptable,” he said.
In Nashville’s loss, Erat picked up his 450th career point in 675 games, including 155 goals and 295 assists, but the milestone was overshadowed by the loss. “For me, it is just a stat. It is a nice accomplishment, but we lost the game,” Erat said.
Nashville continues its homestand on Thursday night when the Predators host the Colorado Avalanche. On Tuesday night, Colorado beat Minnesota 7-1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Photo credit: AP