The Nashville Predators continue their West Coast Road Trip as they take on the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, Saturday night. The Nashville Predators' record this season is 41-21-8 with 90 points and ranked 5th in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Kings' record this season is 41-21-8 with 80 points and ranked 10th in the Western Conference. Puck drops at 9:38 PM CT, 7:38 PM PT.
Coverage in Nashville: FS-TN and 102.5 The Game
Coverage in Los Angeles: FS-W and KTLK 1150 AM
Line Up News
Projected Starting Goalies:
Projected Nashville Scratches: #59 D Roman Josi (Upper Body), #28 C Paul Gaustad (Left Arm), #23 W Brian McGrattan, #49 D Ryan Ellis, #72 W Jack Maclellan and #18 W Brandon Yip
Projected LA Scratches: #15 W Brad Richardson, #19 W Kevin Westgarth (hand) and #44 D Davis Drewiske
A Look at the West
Thoughts on Both Teams
The Los Angeles Kings enter this game off a 4-2 victory last night at the Honda Center, against the Anaheim Ducks. This game tonight is the second of the bac-to-back for the Kings. The Kings record in the last ten games is 7-3-0, one of the hottest records in the Western Conference. L.A. has picked up their offensive production big time with acquisition of, former Columbus Blue Jacket, Jeff Carter. In the roster department, the Kings will be without Simon Gagne, concussion, and Scott Parse, hip. Kevin Westgarth is questionable with a hand injury. Jonathan Bernier will get the start tonight because Jonathan Quick got the start last night.
The Nashville Predators enter this game off a tough, 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion, Thursday night. The Predators' record in the last ten is 6-2-2. Tonight's game is the first of a back-to-back for Nashville Tomorrow, they take on the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center to round up their road trip. Nashville can't give up those easy goals like they did last time these two met. In roster news, Kevin Klein will be back in the line-up tonight. This will be his first game since February 25 against San Jose. Paul Gaustad and Roman Josi, upper body, will be out tonight, per Josh Cooper. Anders Lindback will get the start tonight so Pekka Rinne can get rest for tomorrow for Anaheim. That means that Nashville can't leave Lindback out to dry and need to give him help.
LA Kings Players To Watch:
Other Important Games To Watch: Avalanche @ Rangers at 6 PM, Blues @ Lightning at 6 PM, Blue Jackets @ Canucks at 9 PM and Red Wings @ Sharks at 9:30 PM
Here are some Quick Hits from the Predators
• The Predators are 5-2-1 in eight road games against the Pacific Division this season, and 15-2-4 on weekends.
• Nashville has posted a 23-7-4 record in its last 34 games, outscoring the opposition 105-77 (plus 28), despite being outshot 1,057-947 (minus 110). Since the run started on Dec. 28, Nashville has averaged 3.08 goals per game, while allowing just 2.26 goals per game. The current streak includes outscoring foes 85-61 at even strength; they were outscored 72-54 at even strength in the first 36 games of 2011-12.
• Nashville is one of five teams (BOS, PIT, DET and VAN are the others), to rank among the League’s Top 10 in both goals per game and goals against per game.
• Nashville is 34-5-4 when scoring three or more goals, and 32-2-2 when holding the opposition to two or less.
• The Predators lead the NHL in winning percentage (.705) in combined one- and two-goal games. They rank among the NHL’s Top 10 in one-goal games (19-9-8) and are tied for the NHL’s best record (13-2) in games decided by two goals.
• Nashville’s special teams are now plus-12 on the season after finishing plus-three in 2010-11. Nashville (104.1) ranks among the League’s Top 10 teams in combined special teams play (PP%+PK%).
• Nashville ranks eighth in the League and fourth in the West for fewest times shorthanded this season (214).
• The Predators have 10 players who have scored 10 goals or more for them this season, tied for a League high with Detroit and Philadelphia. That doesn’t include Andrei Kostitsyn’s 15 goals – he brought 12 markers with him from Montreal.
• With 39 victories on the year, Pekka Rinne holds the franchise-record and the League lead in the category. Since Dec. 28, Rinne has posted a League-best 23-4-4 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage, improving to 39-14-8 on the season. He also leads the League in saves (1,771) and shots against (1,915), and ranks second in appearances (63). Nashville is 14-0-2 this season when Rinne makes 35 saves or more.
• Nashville has scored 60 goals in the middle frame this season, including at least one goal in 15 of their last 17 second periods, outscoring the opposition 20-12 during that span. It has outscored the opposition by 15 in the second period (60-45) this season. That is the fifth-best differential in the League and second-best in the West behind only San Jose.
• The Predators rank among the League’s top five in third-period scoring this season. Nashville has potted 74 goals in the final frame, including 24 goals in its last 23 third periods. Twenty-two of Nashville’s 74 third-period goals have come in the final 100 seconds of regulation.
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