Slumping Kings catch Predators coming off tough loss

League: NHL

Posted on: 31 Jan, 2024 at 12:22 AM

Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The reeling Los Angeles Kings will aim to enter the All-Star break on a high note when they visit the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

The Kings have lost four straight and are 2-8-6 in their past 16 games. Despite that, they are still in the thick of the wild-card competition in the Western Conference.

Nashville is struggling as well, having lost two straight and four of five (1-3-1). They entered Wednesday with 54 points and tied with the Kings in the wild-card race.

The Predators will be looking to shake off a bad loss. Nashville opened a 3-0 first-period lead against the Ottawa Senators on Monday but ended up losing 4-3 in overtime to complete a three-game road trip.

"They wanted it a little bit more in the second period. I thought fatigue set in (for us)," Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. "We've gone on a bit of a stretch here and our legs weren't quite there, and then our brains shut off in a few situations, faceoffs, gave up two faceoff goals, kind of easy offense."

Brunette, however, praised his team for its play down the stretch and ultimately earning a point.

Philip Tomasino had a goal and an assist for Nashville, Michael McCarron and Yakov Trenin scored and Juuse Saros made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period to preserve the 3-3 tie.

"He's awesome," Tomasino said. "That's how he plays every night. We're lucky to have him, and if he wasn't in net (Monday) it may have been even worse."

Predators defenseman Roman Josi had two assists in his 10th multi-point game of the season and the fourth in his last nine outings.

The Kings are also coming off a 4-3 overtime loss, on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Phillip Danault, Adrian Kempe and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for the Kings, and David Rittich made 28 saves.

Los Angeles was penalized six times in the seesaw contest and allowed one St. Louis power-play goal.

"I think we played a pretty solid game," Kings coach Todd McLellan said. "We take those penalties out -- we got roasted on a bad line change, that can be cleaned up -- you take that out and cut the penalties back, I think we had a good chance of winning, but we didn't do that."

The Kings own the NHL's best penalty kill (87.0 percent) and have allowed a league-low 19 goals short-handed.

Danualt's goal late in the second period tied it and the score remained 3-3 until overtime.

"We played a pretty good game tonight, but it's not enough," Kings forward Trevor Moore said. "We can't be making mistakes like taking penalties. We need to close out some overtime games and come away with some wins."

The Kings fell to 2-10 in overtime games for the season.

Los Angeles forward Quinton Byfield missed his second straight game due to illness.

Nashville won the first meeting between the teams, 2-1 at Los Angeles on Jan. 18. Ryan O'Reilly had a power-play goal and an assist, and Gustav Nyquist also scored for Nashville. Drew Doughty scored for the Kings.

--Field Level Media