Originally posted on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 3/5/12

Season Records:

Los Angeles Kings 30-23-12

Nashville Predators 38-20-7

Paul Gaustad made his debut for the Predators on Saturday, picking up an assist.

The Nashville Predators return home after a two-game road trip where they played Carolina and Florida, both in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. Splitting those two games, the Predators remain in fifth place in the Western Conference. Nashville is six points back of both St. Louis and Detroit who sit in second and fourth place respectively in the Western Conference. Nashville has one game in hand on both Central Division rivals.

The Predators have gone 17-2-2 in their last 21 home games. Tuesday night’s contest is the start of a three-game homestand at Bridgestone Arena where the Predators have not lost in regulation in 12 games going 10-0-2. While Nashville is historically strong at home, this season the Kings have not played their best hockey away from Staples Center posting a 13-10-8 record away from Los Angeles.

The Kings find themselves just outside of the playoffs, sitting in 9th position in the Western Conference. Winners of their last two games beating both Anaheim and Minnesota, Los Angeles will be looking to battle their way back into a playoff position.

However, with balanced scoring and quality goaltending, the Predators are not an easy team to beat, no matter how desperate the opponent.

Pekka Rinne tied the franchise record for most wins in a season at 36 with Nashville’s 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers Saturday night. If Rinne gets the win on Tuesday night, he will take ownership of that franchise record currently held by Tomas Vokoun.

As for balanced scoring, including newly acquired Andrei Kostitsyn, the Predators have 11 players on the roster with 10 or more goals. While Kostitsyn has only been with the team for a week, he already picked up a goal and an assist Saturday night in Florida, just his second game as a Predator.

Martin Erat has picked up 24 points, including 6 goals and 18 assists, in his last 27 games. With just three more points, Erat would put together a 50-point season for the fifth time in six seasons.

David Legwand has seven points, including 2 goals and 5 assists in his last seven games. The center has a four-game point streak on the go, picking up 1 goal and 4 assists in that time.

Finally, Colin Wilson tied his career high in points at 34 when he scored on February 29th. Wilson has 15 goals and 19 assists.

Nashville and Los Angeles last met on Monday, February 27th. The Predators took a 2-0 lead into the third period. The Kings cut the lead in half to make it a 2-1 game, but Rinne was able to hold on for the win.

The puck drops shortly after 7 pm CT.

 

 

Photo credit: AP

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