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Game 63: Los Angeles @ Nashville – Trade Deadline Madness and a Hockey Game to Boot


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Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Amidst the excitement of the trade deadline, there is still hockey on tap tonight as the L.A. Kings come into Bridgestone Arena for a 7 P.M. battle against the Nashville Predators.

The Kings won their only meeting on November 8th by a score of 4-3 but conditions have turned and it’s Nashville standing alone at 5th in the Western Conference and L.A. looking to get into playoff contention two points out of 8th place.

This Year’s Series: 0-1-0 Home (0-0-0) Away (0-1-0)

Looking at the Kings: With the kind of fire power and impregnable goaltending on the Los Angeles Kings, it makes you wonder why they are fighting for a playoff spot. At 68 points, the Kings are 2 points shy of the 8th spot and looking to get every point possible in the next 6 weeks.

In aid of this quest, L.A. reunited the Carter/Richards connection that brought Philly so much offense in the previous seasons. Having a sniper like Carter playing with the built-in chemistry of Richards should start to pan out for the Kings and a playoff push.

Looking at the Predators: If one looked at the score of the San Jose game, you would think that the Predators thoroughly man-handled the Sharks. Not so much the case as the Sharks pressed hard in the final frame at a clip of 16-3 SOG while the Predators held on to deposit an empty net goal and an insult to injury goal from Nick Spaling in the last minute of play.

Pekka Rinne was sensational between the pipes and that effort truly saved the Predators from allowing San Jose to scratch back into the game. The offensive output from Captain Shea Weber puts him tied for most goals from a defenseman in the NHL with Ottawa’s Karlsson.

For the Kings to win: Utilize the newly acquired Jeff Carter and blitz the Predators with an obscene amount of shots. The more focused the Predators are on shutting down the Carter/Richards line, the more it opens up for Dustin Brown to make them pay (scored a hat trick recently with some gritty play down low).

Having Quick or Bernier in net gives L.A. a great chance to win. Quick is definitely the elite goalie of the two and is tied with Henrik Lundqvist for most shutouts. If L.A. can bring the speed and physicality they are known for, it might make things very difficult for Nashville.

For the Predators to win: Take the good things from Saturday’s game and emphasize them. Trotz needs to focus the team and their power play into a finely distilled product and unleash it on the L.A. Kings. The Kings play with tenacity and over-exuberance and the Predators could draw some penalties so that their league-leading PP unit can capitalize.

The addition of Andrei Kostitsyn to the Predators makes them a very dangerous team, but alas, he won’t be in the lineup tonight having to clear work visas. Look for Andrei at the earliest to be in the lineup starting Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Then we’ll see if the Kostitsyns can play together with offensive purpose for the Gold and Blue and hopefully drive Nashville deep into the playoffs.

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If you like what I have listed out here or if you have any questions/comments/concerns, feel free to let me know on Twitter…@Preducated
Stay HardCore, friends