Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 6 vs. Nashville, January 31, 2013, 7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
The Los Angeles Kings are hoping to make it three-straight wins on Thursday night as they play host to the Nashville Predators in the first of three meetings between the two clubs this year as both teams look for ways to put more pucks in the net.
Currently, the Kings are ranked 24thoverall in the goals for department averaging two goals per game. The Predators, however, are tied for last-overall with 1.67 goals per game. In six games so far, the 1-2-3 Predators have scored 10 goals with four of those coming on the power play. The latter stat may prove to be a challenge for Los Angeles’ exceptional penalty kill but we’ll see what happens.
The Preds are coming off three-straight losses with their most recent being a 4-0 shutout in Phoenix on Monday night. Netminder Pekka Rinne will likely get the call for Nashville as he is still in search of his first win this season. In five games thus far, the Finnish backstop has recorded a 2.68 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. The Kings hope to keep him winless as they will most likely stick with Jonathan Quick who has only gotten better between the pipes since his subpar performance in Los Angeles’s season-opener. In his last three starts, Quick has posted a 2-0-1 record without allowing more than two goals in each of those outings.
As far as Nashville’s producers, only Martin Erat and David Legwand each have multiple goals (both with two) while Patric Hornqvist, who has played very well against the Kings overall, is sidelined for the next three to four weeks with a knee injury.
Unfortunately, we may see more of the same futility from some of the Kings who have yet to score. Captain Dustin Brown has yet to find his name on the scoresheet and the same can be said for Mike Richards and Drew Doughty. With that said, the Kings should expect to have a solid defensive game should they hope to win even if the Preds aren’t blessed with scoring themselves so far.
While their matchups don’t provide much hype, the Kings and Predators usually do wind up having some entertaining matchups when they meet up so hopefully that’s just what we’ll see on Thursday night.
Enjoy the game!