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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: October 17th, 2013

pregame

Oct 17, 2013



Written by: Kristopher Martel

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Last updated: October 17, 2013 at 12:49 am

Tonight at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators will attempt to grab a win against the Pacific Division powerhouse Los Angeles Kings and stretch their current winning streak to three.

Rich Clune will not be available as he will be attending the funeral of his grandfather.

If you’re still looking to purchase tickets, there are a few available with our buddies at TiqIQ. You can find them by clicking this link.

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Nashville Predators (3-3-0) vs Los Angeles Kings (4-3-0)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: Fox Sports Tennessee (Dish: 446/HD: 9516; Direct TV: 644/HD: 644-1 ; Comcast Nashville 1675; Comcast Chattanooga/Cleveland/Knoxville 401; Comcast Memphis 830; Charter Nashville 33/810; AT&T Nashville 724/1724)
Radio: 102.5 The Game

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Injuries

Nashville Predators - Roman Josi (concussion)

Los Angeles Kings - N/A

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Pekka Rinne, 3-3-0, 0 SO, 0.887Sv%, 3.11GAA

VS

Jonathan Quick, 3-3-0, 0 SO, 0.896Sv%, 2.90GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Matt Cullen – For all that Matt Cullen has done on the ice so far this season, it’s amazing that he has yet to find the back of the net. Two assists in six games is all Cullen has to show for his high level of offensive play so far this season. The only negative aspect of his game that could improve is his faceoff win percentage, which sits at 46.9%, lowest among Nashville’s top four centermen (Fisher, Legwand, Gaustad, and Cullen). While Cullen’s persistence towards the net has to be a tad frustrating, his advanced statistics can’t be denied, which you can read about here and here.

Sooner or later, Cullen’s going to break loose with his first goal of the season. If he continues playing like he has been, it should come sooner rather than later

Los Angeles Kings -

Jeff Carter – A name that Nashville is too familiar with since he ended up in the Western Conference in the early months of 2012. Carter’s always been a goal scorer, using his skills to help the Los Angeles Kings win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history two seasons ago. This year, he’s starting off on the right foot. Leading the Kings in goals scored and tied with Anze Kopitar for total points scored, Carter is one of only three players on Los Angeles’ roster that has scored multiple goals this season (including Justin Williams and captain Dustin Brown).

He’s quick, dangerous, and been known to break past Nashville’s goaltenders, scoring a hat trick in their last meeting. Don’t be surprised if his name ends up on the stat sheet.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

The Predators have to overcome a sloppy performance on Tuesday as the Kings, one of the Western Conference’s toughest teams, will not be so forgiving if Nashville makes the same types of mistakes. Mirroring their first two games against St. Louis and Colorado, Nashville had rough patches and bright flashes against the Florida Panthers. With first goal contributions from Shea Weber and Craig Smith, along with additional goals from Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist, Nashville was able to hold on to a 4-3 score through the final moments of the third period to collect their second straight win.

After Tuesday’s game, only seven Predators players have yet to record a point on the season (Klein, Hendricks, Clune, Stalberg, Bartley, Ekholm, and the injured Josi), which is a testament to Barry Trotz’s “scoring by committee” system of offense. Mike Fisher leads the way for Nashville with two goals and three assists in six games, Patric Hornqvist is right behind him with two goals and two assists in the same span.

With another start expected tonight against the Kings, Pekka Rinne grabbed his third win of the season to move his record to 3-3-0 on the year. While his save percentage and goals against average leave something to be desried, Rinne has played phenomenal hockey over the course of the past two weeks. Nashville has a set of back to back games starting this upcoming Saturday, so I expect that Rinne may get a break in play this weekend.

Los Angeles Kings -

Outscoring their opponents nine to four in their three previous contests, the Kings were brought back to Earth on Tuesday night dropping a 5-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Voynov was the only King to find the back of the net, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Los Angeles has been held without a powerplay marker in four of their previous five games, including going scoreless in all five opportunities on Tuesday evening. Their penalty kill is a different story, currently sitting seventh best in the league allowing only four goals on 28 powerplays.

While being led by the aforementioned Jeff Carter on offense, the Kings are also getting plenty of contributions from their normal sources as well. Kopitar, Richards, Frattin, Williams, Stoll, and Brown all have at least two points on the early season while only four players on the entire roster have been held scoreless (Fraser, Lewis, Martinez, and Clifford).

Jonathan Quick has seen all but one start for the Los Angeles Kings, splitting his play with a 3-3 record. Ben Scrivens provided the only relief attempt so far, grabbing a 33 save shutout against the Florida Panthers. Quick has seen the same type of slow start as Pekka Rinne, recording a 2.90 goals against average and a .896 save percentage in his six starts.

Tonight’s game against the Predators is the final stop on a four game roadtrip for the Kings before they head home to play eight of the next nine games at the Staples Center.

Last time out...

On March 4th, 2013, sixteen shots on net was all it took for the Los Angeles Kings to grab a 5-1 win against the Nashville Predators. Jeff Carter tallied a hat trick and Jonathan Quick stopped 18 of 19 Nashville shots to propel Los Angeles to an 11-7-3 record while the Predators  dropped to 9-9-5.

Gabriel Bourque netted the only marker for the Predators while Mike Richards and Dwight King helped to contribute on top of Carter’s previous three goals.

One interesting fact...

In their 55 game history between one another, the Predators and Kings have nearly split their series with each other, with Nashville going 24-25-6.

The Predators home record, always one known to be strong, has taken a hit against the Kings, going 10-14-3 in 27 career meetings in Nashville. On the other end, their journeys out to Los Angeles have ended up more in their favor, posting a 14-11-3 record in 28 games at Staples Center.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua