In two previous meetings this season, the Nashville Predators have had a great deal of success against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Predators will try and beat the Kings for a third time this season and snap a two-game losing streak in the process.
The Predators got a 2-1 shootout win over the Kings on Jan. 31, with Brandon Yip getting the lone goal and Pekka Rinne making 24 saves. Rinne shut out the Kings six days later, making 32 saves. Gabriel Bourque scored and Colin Wilson had two goals as Nashville got its fifth win of the season. The Kings had Jonathan Quick in net for both prior meetings but will turn to Jonathan Bernier tonight. Bernier has won four straight starts with a goals against average of 1.00 over that span. That may not be the best news for a Predators offense that ranks dead last in the league in goals per game.
Rinne has lost four of his last five starts, and could really use the win tonight to get his confidence back. The Predators are fourth in the Central Division but sit one point ahead of the Kings in the Western Conference standings, just shy of a playoff position. Given Wilson’s prior success against the Kings and the fact that he leads the team with five goals, 10 assists and 15 points he could be poised for another big night. Shea Weber continues to improve and has been steady against the Kings this season, helping shut down Anze Kopitar and the rest of their offense.