The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series when they face off against the Los Angeles Kings in game 3 of their current 5 game homestand and the first game of a 4 game workweek in one of the toughest weeks of the Predators season
Looking at the Kings: The Kings are currently in the midst of a 3 game winning streak, all 3 of these on the road on a current 4 game road trip. Los Angeles comes in to try to finish their 4 game road trip a perfect 4-0-0. With all 3 previous games being 1 goal victories, including Sunday’s thriller against Dallas where the Kings scored in the last 30 seconds after immediately giving up the tying goal 20 seconds earlier, Los Angeles knows how to win the close ones, going 11-0-4 in their past 15 one goal games. Another thing to look at is their special teams. LA is converting at 27% on this road trip (1 goal a game and 11 total chances) and has killed off EVERY penalty they’ve faced (8 total times shorthanded).
Looking at the Predators: A winning streak, something the Predators haven’t seen since early January, however now is the perfect time for Nashville to get it. One point out of the top 8 in the Western Conference and at least one game in hand over all the top 8 teams except Dallas and Los Angeles, the Predators have the opportunity to make their way into the playoffs for the 6th time in 7 seasons. However, what stands in their way is a Los Angeles opponent that knows how to beat the Predators. Nashville is currently 1-2-0 against LA this year, losing by a total combined score of 10-2 and winning the last meeting 5-2…however, you all know I am a superstitious man, so let’s check out the SUPERSTITIOUS STAT OF THE DAY:
The Predators have lost one at home to LA and one on the road to LA
The Predators have won one on the road against LA
Leaving just ONE outcome in my opinion…
For the Kings to win: Use your special teams to dominate the game and keep the Predators off the board in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Predators may not score if they get a powerplay, but they have been converting IMMEDIATELY afterwards over the past 2 games, so if Los Angeles wants to win, they’ll need to kill off any powerplay the Predators have and then kill off the next 60-90 seconds afterwards. Past that? Johnathan Bernier needs to play like he did in the first two meetings this season and treat Nashville like just another day at the office.
For the Predators to win: Come out strong, come out flying, and score in the first 5 minutes. Getting that first goal of the game can be OH SO crucial to this team. It gets them the momentum they need to at least lean on for 1-2 periods. This team can be lazy, it’s shows at times, and having a 1-2 goal cushion can help them out. The Predators need to keep their Penalty Kill rolling and they need to keep their Post-Powerplay scoring alive as well. And if Pekka Rinne acts all Vezina/Hart-like as we know he can? It’ll be hard for Los Angeles to leave with 2, let alone 1, point. However, Nashville can’t leave Pekka out to dry. The Predators know what 2 points will do here, it’s just a matter of getting it done.
Prediction: Superstition rules in my life and I think it will no doubtedly show it’s head one more time. The Predators are going to get a goal early in this one, but it’s going to be a tough stretch. I don’t know if they’ll meet the magic 3 goals, but I think they’ll win this one on an empty netter. 2-0 Predators final
Playoff Outlook: 80 points, Currently, 9th place – 1 points out of 8th and 2 points out of 6th
Best of 19 Record: 3-1-2
March Record: 3-1-2
What SportsClubStats Says?: Predators need 99+ points to secure a playoff spot. They are currently 19 points out of a possible 26 points behind that
Thanks for reading!