Los Angeles has won all three games on the current road trip and is trying to close things out with another two points in Nashville – to mark their first four-game road sweep in franchise history.
Here are seven points to get you primed for the Kings at Predators game coming up in just over an hour…
* Jonathan Bernier will be in goal. Four of his career 20 games started against Western Conference opponents have been against Nashville. In those games he’s 3-1-0 with a 1.75 goals against average.
* The suddenly hot Anze Kopitar (7 goals and 15 points in his last 10 games) will be looking to set a new Kings record for consecutive games played. Assuming he’s in the line-up, it will be his 325th straight game, passing Marcel Dionne’s 324-game mark set from January 1978 through January 1982. If he plans on aiming for the NHL record, he has a ways to go. That’s held by Doug Jarvis at 964 consecutive games played.
* Dustin Penner is riding a modest five-game point (2 goals and 3 assists). In 18 career games vs. Nashville he has 10 points (4 goals and 6 assists).
* You can’t talk about this game without looking at the defense, as it includes four of the real stars on the blueline at last year’s Olympics – Drew Doughty and Shea Weber (Canada), Jack Johnson and Ryan Suter (Team USA). Weber stopped by MayorsManor earlier this season, check out his comments here.
* Nashville forward Steve Sullivan also stopped by – to talk about being a true ‘Kings Killer’ among other things – check out his comments here.
* Kevin Westgarth sit tonight in favor of Brad Richardson. If Kyle Clifford is looking for a dance partner, his most obvious target is Shane O’Brien – he of the fight with Wayne Simmonds during last year’s playoff series with Vancouver. Westgarth and Simmonds weigh in with their opinions of O’Brien in an exclusive interview here.
* Nashville sports a strong 17-7-7 record at home. While their offense attack slows as the game goes on – with 689 shots in the first period (season total), 644 in the second, 629 in the third – their defense is stifling. Specifically, their penalty kill percentage at home is ranked second best in the NHL, at 89.0%.
Podcast with Mark Hardy – former Kings coach talking what’s next for him