In a very disappointing game for the Nashville Predator faithful, the Los Angeles Kings scored three times in the final period to take a 4-2 win that kept them alive in the Western Conference playoff race.
Nashville failed to take advantage of a Detroit overtime loss that with a victory could have propelled them into fourth place in the West. The Kings kept pace with Dallas, San Jose, and Phoenix in the race for for Pacific title and eighth place with the win.
Jonathan Bernier continued his outstanding play against Nashville, improving his lifetime record to 6-1 against the Predators. Pekka Rinne was the hard luck loser, giving up four goals on 27 Kings' shots.
The Kings picked up markers from Anze Kopitar, Dustin Penner, Dwight King, and Kyle Clifford while the Preds' goals came from Marty Erat and Mike Fisher.
The Predators will face the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at 7 p.m. CDT to try to pick up two points on the west coast swing.
Make the jump for more details from the game...
At The Puck Drop...
In Goal: Pekka Rinne (39-14-8, 2.35, .925) (5-4-0, 3.03, .888 lifetime versus the Kings) versus Jonathan Bernier (4-6-1, 2.35, .912) (5-1-0, 2.00, .933 lifetime versus the Predators).
Scratches: Nashville - Paul Gaustad (upperbody), Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Brian McGrattan, and Jack MacLellan. Los Angeles - Brad Richardson, Kevin Wesgarth, and Davis Drewiske.First Period...
The Predators went on the power play early in the game at 2:14 when Jarret Stoll was called for roughing when he caught Jordin Tootoo in the face with an elbow. The Preds got one shot but did not score.
Kopitar beat Rinne with a wrister at 7:53 to give the Kings an early 1-0 lead. Dustin Penner and Trevor Lewis picked up assists on the play.
The Kings continued to out shoot and out-chance the Predators for the remainder of the period.1st Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Predators
0 5 11 0-0:00 6-12 33%Kings
1 10 18 1-2:00 12-6 67%Second Period...
A bit of bad blood broke out between Tootoo and Alec Martinez early in the middle period but no penalties were called.
The Predators did a much better job of getting pressure on Bernier in the second period and led in shots 6-3 at the first TV time out.
The Predators picked up a man-advantage at 7:30 when Dustin Brown cross-checked Andrei Kostitsyn. Nashville had a pair of power play shots but could not connect.
Nashville went back on the power play at 12:17 when Brown cross-checked Patric Hornqvist. Marty Erat got the power play marker at 13:43 when he fired a shot from the left circle to put it past Bernier. Hornqvist was blocking Bernier's view and Ryan Suter and Shea Weber picked up the official assists.
The Predators were then whistled on a delayed 15:00 when Tootoo was called for interference. Nashville held the potent Kings power play unit to a single shot.2nd Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Predators
1 9 13 1-2:00 12-12 50%Kings
0 8 17 2-4:00 12-12 50%Third Period...
Andrei Kostitsyn had a great scoreing chance as the final period started.
The Kings returned to the power play at 2:02 when Jack Hillen was called for high-sticking Lewis. The Preds did not allow a shot on the man-advantage.
Nashville got a breal at 5:45 when Kopitar and the puck arrived in Rinne's net at the same time but the potential goal was whistled off immediately.
Penner put the Kings ahead 2-1 at 8:04 when he put the puck past Rinne on a two on one break. Lewis and Rob Scuderi picked up assists on the play.
Predator-killer Jeff Carter took advantage of a turnover and a bad change to send the puck to King who put the Kings ahead 3-1 at 13:02 when he had a breakaway against Rinne on a busted play.
The game got completely out of hand at 16:19 when Clifford took advantage of another defensive lapse from the Preds to give the Kings a 4-1 lead. Jordan Nolan and Drew Doughty received assists on the play.
It was too little too late when Fisher scored at 17:18 to close the gap to 4-2. Kevin Klein and Erat assisted.
The Kings went on the man-advantage at 18:21 when Brandon Yip was called for holding the stick on Martinez.3rd Period Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Predators
1 7 14 2-4:00 9-10 47%Kings
3 9 13 0-0:00 10-9 53%Final...Final Goals Shots Corsi PIMs Faceoffs Predators
2 21 38 3-6:00 27-34 44%Kings
4 27 48 3-6:00 34-27 56%
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass