Kings Beat Predators At Staples

Jonathan Bernier and the Los Angeles Kings took on Anders Lindback and the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night in front of the first non sellout at Staples Center since last season. Less than 30 seconds in, Jarret Stoll of the Kings took the first penalty for interference. The team bailed him out and successfully killed the penalty. Shortly after, Nashville returned the favor by taking their own interference penalty. Just an observation here, but it looks like Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson are really starting to get the power play chemistry back together. Alec Martinez (1) got a much needed power play goal for a 1-0 Kings lead. Doughty (1) fired a rocket from the point and made it 2-0 Kings. A bunch of guys that absolutely needed to get on the board were on the board early. Stoll had 2 assists, Martinez, previously mentioned, gets his first goal (and point) of the season and Kyle Clifford had an assist on the Doughty goal. Wait… where’s Dustin Penner? Oh, that comes later… An atrocious 4 on 4 goal at 10:41 by Matt Halischuck, assist to Shea Weber, cut the Kings lead to 2-1. Willie Mitchel, Anze Kopitar – everyone on the ice made mistakes on that one! I know; easy for me to say…

Terry Murray was baffled, as was I, by an interference penalty on Simon Gagne  that probably should have gone to Weber. Nevertheless, the Kings went on the penalty kill, again. A failed clearing attempt by Trevor Lewis lead to chaos but no goal as a result. The game was tied 2-2 on an unassisted power play goal by Craig Smith. A horrible clearing attempt by Johnson, and uncharacteristic for the season he’s having, lead to the goal. Shots were 15-8 in favor of the Kings after one.

Dustin Penner

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

A beautiful pass by Dustin Brown lead to a Mike Richards goal, his third of the season, to make it 3-2 Kings. Wait… did I just hear Dustin Penner on the assist? It looks like he took the lead in the battle with Jonathan Quick!  Totally unfair since Quick wasn’t even playing but, well, we’ll take it! Shortly after the goal, the Kings went on the power play. They had some excellent movement on the power play but no goal to show for it.

Ohhhhhh, Gagne (5) absolutely robbed Penner of a goal. Penner, however, had – count em! – 2 assists on the night. Let me check my math – yep, Penner officially has 3 times as many points now than before the game started. This must have been a “rare white elk” day (ok, only Lewis Black fans will get that but I think you understand my meaning). At the end of two, the Kings lead in – brace yourselves – shots, 26-16 AND on the scoreboard, 4-2! As Bob Miller likes to point out, the Kings, coming into the game, are 60-0-3 in their last 63 games when leading after two. Make that 61-0-3.

The Kings started the third period with a power play. They chewed some time off the clock but that’s about it. A holding penalty gave the Predators a chance but they couldn’t capitalize on their power play as Bernier made a couple big saves. Richards also went off for hooking (that call always makes me giggle). Sucks to lose him on the penalty kill but the Kings still did an awesome job getting it done. Special teams was huge for the Kings in the game.

With their goalie pulled, Nashville got a goal on a deflection by Patric Hornqvist (7), cutting the Kings lead to 4-3. Again, with the goalie pulled, the Predators were threatening and keeping the Kings busy in the defensive zone but the good guys held on for the win, breaking a 5 game win-less streak. Huge 2 points and, from San Diego, I can hear the sigh of relief from Terry Murray. KINGS WIN!!!!!

Notes:

Dustin Penner had his first multi-point game since joining the Kings.

Each team had two goals on consecutive shots in the first period. You don’t see that too often…

Dustin Penner had his first multi-point game since joining the Kings.

With his 2 assists, Jarret Stoll reached the 300 career point mark.

Dustin Penner had his first multi-point game since joining the Kings.

Four different Kings scored goals: Martinez, Doughty, Richards, and Gagne.

Dustin Penner – you get the idea. When this guy contributes, the Kings have a great chance to win. These points were much needed but we need consistency. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a great tear for this guy.

Scott Parse went out early in the third with a “lower-body” injury.  Wonder what that’s about? *** Update – Per Rich Hammond, Terry Murray says Parse is “a little more than day-to-day.” ***

Kings were 1 out of 6 on the power play.

Three stars: 3) Ryan Suter, 2) Drew Doughty, 1) Jarret Stoll

Bernier made 27 saves.

Kings win without Kopitar scoring a point.

This Simon Gagne guy looks like he knows what he’s doing.

Next up for the Kings, the Vancouver Canucks will be in town on Thursday. Until then, Kings fans, we’ll see you on Twitter! Thanks for reading.

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Tags: Alec Martinez Anders Lindback Anze Kopitar Bob Miller Craig Smith Drew Doughty Dustin Brown Dustin Penner Jack Johnson Jarret Stoll Jonathan Bernier Jonathan Quick Kings Kings Fans Kings Win Kyle Clifford LA Kings Lewis Black Los Angeles Kings Matt Halischuck Mike Richards Nashville Predators Patric Hornqvist Rich Hammond Ryan Suter San Diego Scott Parse Shea Weber Simon Gagne Staples Center Terry Murray Trevor Lewis Twitter Vancouver Canucks Willie Mitchel

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