Posted February 01, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Kings
Although Pekka Rinne is an elite NHL goalie by any measure, he had to wait six games and eight shootout rounds to earn his first victory of the season for the low-scoring Nashville Predators.
If that's the type of season he's facing, Nashville's sturdy Finnish goalie will keep trying to carry his teammates past the Los Angeles Kings and the rest of the West.
Sergei Kostitsyn scored in the eighth round, and the Predators snapped their three-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Kings on Thursday night.
Rinne made 23 saves and stopped five of Los Angeles' eight shootout attempts as the Predators survived another weak offensive performance thanks to Rinne's sturdiness and a timely shot by Kostitsyn, who finally ended the lengthy shootout two rounds shy of the longest in Kings history.
''I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself,'' said Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist with Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick last season. ''It's been a tough go so far, but hopefully this will change the course of how things have been going.''
Brandon Yip scored 58 seconds into the Predators' fifth stop on a seven-game trip, but Nashville managed just one shot in a 29:20 stretch shortly afterward - perhaps no surprise for the team that's last in the NHL in shots per game.
''We've still got to do a better job of getting shots on net and getting that traffic in front that we've been working on in practice,'' Yip said. ''You can't win too many games getting that amount of shots, but we clamped down defensively and did a great job.''
Nashville hasn't figured out how to compensate for the absence of top goal-scorer Patric Hornqvist, who sprained his knee last weekend in Anaheim. Nobody has more than Erat's four points in the Preds' first seven games, and high-priced defenseman Shea Weber is among the players who haven't scored at all.
Yet thanks to Rinne, the Predators sneaked out of Staples Center with just their third win in their last 10 meetings with the Kings.
''You knew those first few games it was going to take some time to adjust and play together, but I didn't think it was going to take this long,'' Rinne said. ''We still have so many areas that we have to be better. Tonight, I think we finally played a team game, which is what we needed to do.''
Captain Dustin Brown scored his first goal of the season for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who are off to a 2-2-2 start.
Quick stopped 13 shots for the Kings, whose NHL-worst power play went 1 for 6 while Nashville and Los Angeles slogged through a largely dull game between two of the league's lowest-scoring teams featuring no goals in the final 46 minutes of regulation or overtime. The Kings limited Nashville to 11 shots in regulation, but still couldn't shake Rinne and his solid defense.
''I'd take that game most nights,'' Brown said. ''Limited them to less than 15 shots, not many Grade-A scoring chances. I think we played the first two periods almost entirely in their zone. We've just got to figure out some ways to score goals.''
Nashville only got rolling in overtime, getting three shots and most of the good scoring chances, but Nick Spaling appeared to miss an open net on the best opportunity.
David Legwand and Craig Smith scored on the Predators' first two shootout attempts, but after Mike Richards and Brown beat Rinne with change-of-pace goals, and Martin Erat missed his chance to end it for Nashville.
Three of the next four rounds were scoreless. After Simon Gagne missed to open the eighth round, Kostitsyn beat Quick for Nashville's third win in its last 10 meetings with Los Angeles.
''It just comes down to details,'' Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. ''They scored a faceoff goal. Other than that, (Nashville) had probably three or four opportunities. We're still not getting goals out of players than we need to count on to score.''
Brown got Los Angeles' only goal during 4-on-3 play in the first period, sweeping home a fortunate rebound of Drew Doughty's wild shot off the glass. While Brown had only one assist to show for the Kings' first five games, Doughty hadn't even scored a point since his outstanding postseason run for Los Angeles.
The Predators played the final 16:19 of the first period without recording a shot, and Legwand recorded their only shot in the first 13:01 of the second period. Nashville dumped and chased with little success, and its power play was thoroughly ineffectual against the Kings, whose own power play has struggled mightily all season.
NOTES: The clubs meet again in Nashville on Feb. 7 when the Predators finally return from their road trip - and then must make a one-game trip to Minnesota. ... The Kings sold out Staples Center for their 29th consecutive regular-season game. ... Los Angeles F Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. ... Southern California native Jonathon Blum was scratched again by Nashville.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Nashville Predators and Pekka Rinne had been struggling to win games as of late. The Predators had not won in three games heading into Thursday night’s contest in Los(More here)…
Returning with, for all intents and purposes, the same lineup that finished with the fifth-most points in the NHL last season and advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Nashville Predators figured to have a leg up on the competition in a shortened season preceded by only a week of training camp.
So much for conventional wisdom.
On Monday in a 4-0 loss to...
Today’s Links The Tennessean – Nashville Predators coaches work overtime to prepare Nashville City Paper – Troubling trends easy to spot in Predators’ slow start Nashville Sports Hub – Weber Not Making Usual Big Impact for Predators Examiner – New ice surface will greet Predators upon their return to Bridgestone Smashville247 – Preds, FOX reach new TV rights deal Admirals ...
Two struggling teams fought well into the night in order to decide this one.
The Los Angeles Kings were 2-2-1 coming into the night while the Nashville Predators had only won once in their six games. Something had to give.
With 18,118 inside Staples Center looking on, Pekka Rinne got his first victory of the 2012-13 season in the Preds’ 2-1 shootout victory.
Rinne collected 23...
Today’s Links The Tennessean – Nashville Predators edge Kings in eight-round shootout The Tennessean – Sergei Kostitsyn makes shot count for Nashville Predators The Tennessean – Postgame quotes The Tennessean – Clune to face old team Fox Sports Tennessee – Preds end skid, top Kings in 8-round shootout Smashville247 – Can Preds build off Thursday’s win?
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Sergei Kostitsyn scored in the eighth shootout round, and the Nashville Predators snapped their three-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Pekka Rinne made 23 saves and stopped five of Los Angeles' eight shootout attempts as the Predators survived a weak offensive performance thanks to their Finnish goalie's sturdiness...
Noah Graham - Getty Images
Nashville Predators "earned" their second win of the season last night, and overcame their apparent 2013...
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Craig Smith scored the lone goal in the shootout and Pekka Rinne stopped all three San Jose attempts to help the Nashville Predators hand the Sharks their first loss of the season, 2-1 on Saturday night.
Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season to break a scoreless tie in the opening minute of the third period. Rinne made 26 saves through overtime...
Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images
The Nashville Predators are needing a “Rocky”-esque comeback to this road trip to begin turning their season around. The Predators are 1-2-3 on the year and one of only four teams with one win (Calgary, Washington and Florida-all at the bottom of the standings). The L.A. Kings are 9th in the West, one place above Nashville, and have...
Craig Smith scored the lone goal in the shootout and Pekka Rinne stopped all three San Jose attempts to help the Nashville Predators hand the Sharks their first loss of the season, 2-1 on Saturday night.
Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season to break a scoreless tie in the opening minute of the third period. Rinne made 26 saves through overtime and led the Predators...
SAN JOSE -- Craig Smith scored on the backhand in the shootout, and goalie Pekka Rinne stopped three San Jose shooters as the Nashville Predators snapped the Sharks' season-opening, seven-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory Saturday night. San Jose's Martin Havlat hooked Nashville's David Legwand 2:48 into sudden death, but the Sharks killed their fifth short-handed...
(Don Smith/Getty Images)
The 2012 Predators made a cameo appearance tonight in an effort that fans will want to see continue for games to come. Playing without two of their best offensive players, Erat and Hornqvist, Nashville was amazing defensively and were able to give San Jose their first los of the season. Rinne was phenomenal in the 1-1 game with 26 saves...
The Nashville Predators were finally able to win a game in the shootout. It took four attempts, but they finally did, this time on the Los Angeles Kings. It took eight shooters each side to score. Pekka Rinne came up big when he had to. Sergei Kostitsyn was the shootout game winner dekeing Jonathan Quick out of position.
Brandon Yip and Dustin Brown had the lone goals of the...
Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images
The Predators had to stretch the games to eight rounds of the shootout, but Nashville finally prevailed, grabbing a 2-1 shootout win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
Grabbing his first win of the season, Pekka Rinne stopped 23 of LA’s 24 shots including some key stops in the second and third period to bring...