Predators blank Kings in absolutely dominant performance.
Something was different regarding the Nashville Predators on Thursday. For the first time all season the Preds had a completely healthy roster and that spelled trouble for the Los Angeles Kings as Nashville picked up a dominant 5-0 win.
Ryan Johansen led the Preds in scoring on Thursday with three assists while each of the team’s five goals were scored by different players. Pekka Rinne stopped 19 shots as he picked up his fifth shutout of the season.
On Tuesday night the Predators got off to an extremely slow and sloppy start before falling to the Blackhawks 2-1. They certainly were looking to get that bad taste out of their mouth with a quick start against the Kings on Thursday and that’s exactly what happened.
Throughout the opening 20 minutes the Preds were executing their fast and smothering style of play to perfection and as a result went into the first intermission with a 3-0 edge.
Just past the 10 minute mark of the frame, Craig Smith controlled a rebound following a Johansen shot and lit the lamp for the power play goal.
The power play success, this one a 5-on-3 situation, continued for the next Nashville tally with Filip Forsberg finding the back of the net in his first game back after missing 11 games with an upper-body injury. The final goal of the first period came courtesy of Calle Jarnkrok with 2:39 left in the period. Viktor Arvdisson created a poor play by a Los Angeles defenseman along the boards and Jarnkrok was there to lift the puck home with a tough play out in front.
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The Predators were also the only team to find the back of the net in the second period.
The Kings slowed the Nashville attack out of the gates to begin the frame, but Colton Sissons was able to make it a 4-0 contest with 8:59 left in the period. Jake Muzzin turned the puck over behind the Kings’ net and Miikka Salomaki found Sissons out in front.
After two periods of play, the Preds held a 20-13 edge in the scoring chances category.
Nashville didn’t take its foot off of the gas in the third period, particularly in the opening five or so minutes. The Preds kept attacking as they had been all night not giving anything easy to Los Angeles.
The Preds hit the five-goal mark with 10:16 left in regulation. Forsberg slid a nice pass over to Arvidsson and the winger put the puck into what was virtually an empty net with Jonathan Quick out of position.
Arvidsson’s goal was the final blow the Preds handed the Kings in what was a dominant night from the guys in the gold sweaters.