Predators close out West Coast swing with win over Kings.
The Nashville Predators played visitor to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night as they closed out a three-game road trip. It wasn’t a game that lacked offense with both teams combining for seven goals and it was Nashville who came out on top by a count of 4-3.
Austin Watson was the man of the evening as he lit the lamp twice for his first career two-goal regular season game.
The Predators got off to a positive start in this one and were the first to light the lamp. After Nashville killed off a minor penalty of its own, the Preds were gifted an extended power play chance after Drew Doughty was whistled for a tripping minor on top of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Roman Josi made the Kings pay. The captain blasted the puck through traffic to light the lamp with 4:52 left in the period.
Nashville carried that 1-0 lead into the first intermission while out shooting Los Angeles 9-7.
While the first period featured just one goal, the second period was a drastically different story. The Kings were able to tie things up at 1-1 as P.K. Subban committed a poor turnover in the Nashville zone and Adrian Kempe was there to take advantage. The rest of the period belonged to the Preds as they were able to grab a two goal advantage.
Nashville’s first goal of the period came courtesy of Scott Hartnell as he poked an impressive saucer pass from Ryan Johansen into the back of the net with 9:07 left in the period. The Preds kept their foot on the gas and were awarded for doing so with a goal on the rush with Watson finishing off a strong sequence with a wrist-shot goal with 3:11 left remaining in the frame. After 40 minutes of action the Kings managed 38 total shot attempts while the Predators had 34 to their name.
A little tic.
A little tac.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 7, 2018
The scoring trend continued into the start of the third period as well. It took the Kings only 3:56 into the frame to cut the Nashville lead to 3-2 with Trevor Lewis beating Pekka Rinne with a shot from the slot. The Predators re-gained their two-goal edge just 1:09 later however with Watson netting his second of the night as he tipped home a slap shot from Ryan Ellis.
Tyler Toffoli made things interesting yet again just over three minutes later making it 4-3 with a power play tally. Los Angeles put together a strong push down the stretch, but Pekka Rinne was strong in net as he and the Preds closed out the contest.
When it was all said and done, Rinne finished the night with 26 saves on 29 shots faced.