The Los Angeles Kings take on the Nashville Predators for the final time this season in Smashville. These two teams play each other one final time Saturday, March 17 at 9:30 PM. The Los Angeles Kings' record this season is 30-23-12 with 72 points and ranked 9th in the Western Conference. The Nashville Predators' record this season is 38-20-7 with 83 points and ranked 5th in the Western Conference. Puck drops at 7:08 PM CT at the Bridgestone Arena.
Coverage in Nashville: FS-TN and 102.5 The Game
Coverage in Los Angeles: FS-W and KTLK 1150 AM
Line Up Report
Projected Starting Goalies:
Projected Nashville Scratches: #8 D Kevin Klein (Upper Body), #18 W Brandon Yip, #23 W Brian McGrattan, #24 W Matt Halischuk, and #38 D Jack Hillen
Projected Los Angeles Scratches: #15 W Brad Richardson, #19 W Kevin Westgarth (Hand), and #44 D Davis Drewiske
Thoughts on Both Teams
The Los Angeles Kings enter this game off a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings have won 3 of the last 4 games, which all of those games were played with newly acquired Jeff Carter. Carter has already scored 2 goals. In the last ten games, the Kings are 4-4-2. Los Angeles needs to starting winning games if they want to make the play offs. They are only 1 point away from the 8th place San Jose Sharks, although the Sharks have a game in hand. Winning all starts with scoring with the Kings because it frankly isn't there. L.A. is last in the league in scoring with 142 goals for. The Kings will be without Simon Gagne and Brad Richardson once again. I am not expecting any line-up changes because the line-up worked Saturday.
The Nashville Predators enter this game off a 3-1 win in Florida against the Panthers. The Predators have won 3 of the last 4 games as well as the Kings. Newly acquired Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Paul Gaustad played their first game together with the Nashville Predators. All of them received a point on the first goal as Andrei Kostitsyn scored with assists from Gaustad and Gill. Kostitsyn added an assist later on. It is nice to see these guys all working together in order to help this team succeed. Nashville needs another two points and a regulation or overtime win to add to the ROW (Regulation and Overtime Wins). This way it adds more numbers in the tie-breaker system. Barry Trotz has a ton of work to do in order to set his line-up as he has to scratch five people. I am not expecting any line-up changes as well as the Kings.
Los Angeles Kings' Players To Watch
#11 Anze Kopitar
#10 Mike Richards
#77 Jeff Carter
Other Important NHL Games to Watch For: Detroit @ Philadelphia at 6 PM, Phoenix @ Columbus at 6 PM, Chicago @ St. Louis at 7 PM, Dallas @ Vancouver at 9 PM, and Edmonton @ San Jose at 9:30 PM
Here are some 'Quick Hits' from the Predators Main Site in the Preview.QUICK HITS:
• The Predators are 31-14-4 against the Western Conference in 2011-12, including an 8-6-0 mark against the Pacific.
• Nashville’s power play has scored 17 man-advantage goals in its last 25 games. For the season, Nashville’s power play ranks second in the League (21.4 percent). The Preds have potted 44 man-advantage goals in 64 games this season, after posting 41 in 82 games last season.
• Nashville’s special teams are now plus-10 on the season after finishing plus-three in 2010-11. Nashville (103.8) ranks among the League’s top five teams in combined special teams play (PP%+PK%). Los Angeles is sixth in the League at 103.7.
• Nashville is 31-4-4 when scoring three or more goals, and 30-2-1 when holding the opposition to two or less.
• The Predators lead the NHL in winning percentage (.706) in combined one and two-goal games. They rank among the League’s Top 10 in one-goal games (17-8-7) and tied for the League’s best record (12-2) in games decided by two goals.
• The Predators’ current roster features 15 players who were drafted and developed by the organization. Six players were acquired via trade, including 2012 trade deadline additions Paul Gaustad, Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn. Two players came to Nashville as free agents, and two players were waiver pick-ups.
• Nashville roster includes six players that are 6-foot 4-inches or taller – goaltenders Anders Lindback (6-6) and Pekka Rinne; defensemen Gill (6-7) and Shea Weber (6-4); and forwards Gaustad (6-5) and Brian McGrattan (6-4).