NHL Los Angeles Kings

Jeff Carter Powers Los Angeles Kings Past Nashville Predators

Los Angeles Kings Jeff Carter

Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

After a sluggish start to the season, the Los Angeles Kings have now put together an impressive two weeks that has the team fifth in the Western Conference standings. A big night from Jeff Carter helped lead the Kings to a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night, the eighth win for the Kings in their last 10 games.

Carter continues to be one of the top performers for the team this season, and he had a natural hat trick against the Predators. He now has 14 goals and 16 points for the season, including four goals on the power play. Carter, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards have thrived with the man-advantage this season and each have at least five points on the power play. Carter’s 14 goals leads the team by a long shot as Kopitar is second with six goals. The Kings have now seen Carter score at least one goal in six of their last seven games (all wins).

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne rarely gives up more than three goals in a game, and even more rarely three goals to one player. Carter’s hat trick was the fifth of his career and came on a night when hats were the stadium giveaway item. An injury limited his time with the Kings after arriving in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, but he came back strong in the postseason with eight goals and 13 points to help lead the Kings to their first Stanley Cup. With his strong play this season he is helping the Kings look ready to return to the postseason and prove the Stanley Cup hangover talk earlier in the season wrong.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.