PRIMER: LA Kings at Nashville Predators

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%.

The Mayor
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RELATED ARTICLES:

Podcast with Mark Hardy – former Kings coach talking what’s next for him

Word Association with with Jonathan Bernier

Team Kopitar vs. Team Mayor

Interview with Marcel Dionne

Cruising the Mall with Simmonds and Doughty

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.