Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 3/7/12

On Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators were edged 5-4 by the Los Angeles Kings. Patric Hornqvist, however, picked up two goals in a losing cause for the Predators bringing his yearly total to 20 goals on the season.

It is the third consecutive year that Hornqvist has scored at least 20 goals, making him the first player drafted by the Predators to accomplish that feat while playing for Nashville.

Head Coach Barry Trotz explains why Hornqvist is a consistent 20-goal scorer. “He is not afraid to go in those hard areas. That is where he is scoring goals these days. That is why he gets them consistently and that is why he is in that 20-goal range. You’re going to find Patric Hornqvist heading to the net, heading to the front – that blue paint – and he’ll battle for those loose pucks. There are no thrills with Patric. You know what you’re getting every night,” he said.

Trotz says the Predators can depend on Hornqvist to be in front of the opposition’s net on a nightly basis. “His foundation is that around-the-net type of game. He just recognized what has made him successful and he keeps his foundation very stable year in and year out. As he goes along he’s tweaking it and getting better in that area. It’s good for him to get 20 goals. That’s tough to do now in this League.”

Despite scoring his 20th goal of the campaign, Hornqvist was all business after the game. “We have to play more consistently,” he said, adding, “we have to play a 60-minute game. We turned the puck over way too many times tonight. We have to give their defense credit. They stepped up on us and really crowded the neutral zone, but we still have to get the puck deep and get the forecheck going. We can’t play like that.”

Hornqvist has picked up his game over the last month and a half. In his last 14 games, the forward has picked up 13 points, including 8 goals and 5 assists.

Nashville next plays on Thursday night when they host the Colorado Avalanche.

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