Tonight will mark the third time the Kings have seen the Predators in less than three weeks.
The first game came in Nashville on the night of the NHL Trade Deadline and the Kings fell short, losing 2-1 – in spite of out-shooting the Predators 31-28. Then, the Kings returned to Music City just a week later. Prior to that contest, LA captain Dustin Brown talked about needing to create more havoc in front of Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Mission accomplished, as Justin Williams picked up a pair of goals in the first period and helped power the team to a 5-4 win.
So, is seeing the same team for the third time in ten games a help or a hindrance?
Mike Richards – “I think it’s good for us right now because we’re familiar with them. So, we know what we need to do to have success. They’re a good team. But, when you don’t see them (very often), you kind of lose site of how good they are and how many good players they have. So, I think it’s good for us to be familiar with them and be knowledgeable of their personnel.”
Rob Scuderi – “I kind of like seeing Nashville a lot because they a bit of a different style. So, we’re a little more familiar with them. I noticed the first time we played them it took us a while to adjust. Then, that last game that we won, I thought we were ready to go right off the bat – because they do play a very aggressive style. It’s something we don’t see all the time. So, I think (when seeing the same team so many times), at least when playing Nashville, it’s an advantage for us.”
Jarret Stoll – “I don’t mind it. You know what they bring, how they’re playing and basically what their line-up is. From the start of the year to the end of the year it can change a little bit and they’ve made some changes (recently). They’re a solid team from top to bottom, we know that. We have to play a solid, full game, to beat that team. They just keep pushing and keep coming at you in waves. We need to get a lot of shots. We’ve been better at that lately, at getting more pucks to the net and getting that shot total up. They have a world class goalie in there too, so we have to put pucks on him.”
For the record, Rinne is 8-1-2 in his last 11 games, with that only loss coming against the Kings. He gave up five goals that night, but in nine of the other 10 games he hasn’t let in more than two goals.
It’s likely the Kings will counter with Jonathan Bernier, who holds a 5-1-0 record vs the Preds – including one shutout and an overall goals against average of 2.00.