Posted November 08, 2011 on AP on Fox
Pekka Rinne never had too many problems against the Los Angeles Kings until two poor outings last season. If he's in net Tuesday night, he'll try to help hand the Kings a sixth straight loss as the Nashville Predators begin a back-to-back set of games in Southern California. Rinne, who signed a seven-year, $49 million contract Thursday, was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season with a career-best 2.12 goals-against average. He went 4-1-0 with a 2.39 GAA and .907 save percentage in five starts against Los Angeles (6-5-3) before last season. In 2010-11, however, Rinne lost twice against the Kings and posted a 4.68 GAA and .821 save percentage - his worst marks against any Western Conference opponent. Backup Anders Lindback wasn't much better, recording a 4.29 GAA in two starts versus Los Angeles. Lindback could get a start on this trip, but Rinne has started each of Nashville's games this season, and he's 3-0-1 with a 1.96 GAA and two shutouts in his last four road contests. Los Angeles could be hard-pressed to beat him this time after Monday's 4-2 loss at San Jose. The Kings are averaging 2.14 goals for the league's third-worst mark, and they haven't scored more than two in any game during their losing streak. Their 0-3-2 slide started with the Oct. 29 return of star defenseman Drew Doughty. Los Angeles went 4-1-0 from Oct. 18-27 with Doughty out with an upper-body injury. "We're all confident here," goalie Jonathan Quick said. "We know we're not putting it to them the full 60 minutes, at least not through this little stretch. We're outplaying teams but we can't put them away. We have to dig down a little deeper and figure a way to get out of this." Doughty assisted on power-play goals Monday by Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar for the Kings, who are trying to avoid losing six straight for the first time since an 0-8-0 stretch Dec. 12-26, 2007. Quick made 34 saves Monday, and could get Tuesday off. Quick did not face the Predators (7-4-2) last season, and he's 0-3-1 with a 3.24 GAA in four career starts against them. Backup Jonathan Bernier has lost both of his starts this season, but he started all four meetings with Nashville last season and went 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA. The Kings are finishing up their third set of games on back-to-back days, having lost the second one each of the first two times. The Predators, who visit Anaheim on Wednesday, are starting their second such set after sweeping a season-opening trip to Columbus and St. Louis. Nashville's surprising points leader is veteran David Legwand with 14. He's got six in a four-game run, and his second goal of Saturday's 4-3 win at San Jose came in overtime. The Predators trailed by two in the third period before rallying to improve to 2-0-1 on this five-game trip. "It was a big comeback," coach Barry Trotz said. "They put a lot of pucks on the net in the first period but we stayed resilient, and Leggy - deservedly so - gets the winner." Right wing Patric Hornqvist has six goals and one assist in his last five games after he failed to register a point in his first seven. Kopitar, meanwhile, is tied for the West lead with 18 points. He and Dustin Brown had a team-best six points apiece last season against Nashville. Predators left wing Sergei Kostitsyn missed his third game in four Saturday with a lower-body injury. He is day to day.

Preview #15: Injuries plague Predators as Nashville visits Anaheim

Season Records Nashville Predators 7-5-2 Anaheim Ducks 5-6-3 Pekka Rinne will likely be back in net for Nashville when the Predators take on the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night at Honda Center in the second game of back-to-back contests in Southern California. Tuesday night in Los Angeles, the Predators lost a game in regulation for the first time since a 3-1 loss to San Jose at...

POTG Seven Stories: Mid-Day Mixed Bag Edition

This week's 30 Thoughts from Elliotte Friedman has plenty of Blues-BJ's chatter plus an interesting tidbit that Marty Brodeur's favorite goalie to watch is Pekka Rinne.Hockey Prospectus does an analysis and feels that the Predators overpaid for Brodeur's favorite goalie to watch.Pull up a chair and sit a while and read this great interview with Pete Weber's on...

POTG Predators' Seven Stories Monday Kick-Off Edition

We have been doing basically the same thing with our morning links for four years at POTG and will experiment with some other formats, features, and timing as a change over the next few weeks. We appreciate any comments or feedback, either positive or negative. As always, thanks for reading.The countdown is on for Saturday's 1000th game celebration against the Montreal Canadiens...

NHL: Pluses and minuses around the league

Predators make a good investment in signing goaltender Pekka Rinne to a long-term deal, and the Blues hope the firing of Coach Davis Payne changes their fortunes.Predators make a good investment in signing goaltender Pekka Rinne to a long-term deal, and the Blues hope the firing of Coach Davis Payne changes their fortunes.

Puck Previews: Rinne vs Kings; Raymond skates with team

Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished. After the referee said he didn't like 'Firefly', Carlo Colaiacovo skated away in disgust. Preview: Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. Two of the league&...

What should be Poile’s next move?

As you know, the biggest off-ice question surrounding the Predators this season is the status of the ‘Big 3’. GM David Poile got one of them – Pekka Rinne – to sign on the dotted line, which caused the discussion to resurface late last week.Not many people around the NHL expect the Preds to bring back both Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Members in the organization, including...

Paul McCann: Monday Notes - This Week's SlapShot Radio

Random Notes - I am very excited to announce a special guest on this week’s SlapShot Radio, honorary Smashvillian and 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Alice Cooper… - Gotta give the Edmonton Journal credit… they call out the hypocrisy in the reporting over Pekka Rinne’s contract. Here’s the link. - Splitting Ryan Suter and Shea Weber has...

Nashville Predators Week Preview: Week 06 (Nov. 7th – Nov. 13th)

Coming off a week where they went 2-1-0, taking the majority of points available in a 3-game homestand, the Predators traveled out West last week for the start of a 5-game roadtrip. Let’s take a look at what happened last week after the jump: Monday, October 31st: The Predators traveled a bit north before going completely out west, taking on divisional rival Chicago Blackhawks...

Game 15: Nashville @ Anaheim – Ducks vs “The Hicksville Hee Haws”, Round 2

Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images Nashville finishes off their road trip heading over to the Honda Center to face off against the Anaheim Ducks for the second time this season and the first time back in Anaheim since shocking the Ducks in a game 5 WCQF overtime win. The Predators (7-5-2) dropped their first regulation loss in 5 games last night against the Kings 4...

Pick The Winner (11/9)

    This is not necessarily how to bet in Las Vegas but we show you how to bet a little wiser here on The Program.  First off let's give a little shout out to our friends from Stock Lemon.  Here is their latest link on NHL Predictions.  Yes we are giving them a huge bone because of their success in the three other major sports.  Next up we bring in Kevin...

Game 14: Nashville @ Los Angeles – Battle of the Backups?

Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America The Nashville Predators (7-4-2) enter L.A. tonight in their first of a California back-to-back, starting off with the Los Angeles Kings (6-5-3) who have lost 6 out of their last 7 (including 5 straight). Coming off a tough loss to the San Jose Sharks late last night, the Kings are looking to get back on track against a Nashville...
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