LOS ANGELES -- The Nashville Predators couldn't get anything past Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for more than 40 minutes. Then they finally got the puck luck they were missing for the past three weeks.
Stalberg scored the game-winner when he attempted a pass to Calle Jarnkrok, who was cutting to the net; Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin inadvertently deflected the puck past Quick, breaking a 1-1 tie. Rinne earned his 200th career win for the Predators (43-20-7), who moved ahead of the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division with 93 points. The Blues have 91 points but have played two fewer games.
"We were able to get a bounce," Nashville forward Craig Smith said. "Some of those bounces we weren't getting the last couple of games."
Nashville had lost seven of its previous eight games (1-7-0) but didn't get flustered against the defending Stanley Cup champions. When the Predators' dressing room was opened to the media, "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty by Nature blared through the speakers.
"I thought that defensively, that was one of the better games in a long time," Rinne said. "Everybody knows we've struggled a little bit here, and that was a huge win for us against a really good team."
It was the 600th victory in Predators history, and Rinne owns one-third of those. Goalie coach Ben Vanderklok told him the milestone was near but Rinne was distracted by the team's slump.
"I haven't thought about it because the last five [wins] have been taking forever," Rinne said. "I've played on really good teams with really good teammates. Now it's out of the way and [I'll] go toward 300."
Quick made 21 saves in his duel with Rinne but the Kings (33-22-13) had their five-game point streak end (4-0-1) and fell out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They trail the Winnipeg Jets by one point because of two goals allowed in 66 seconds.
"It's obviously a tough loss," said Anze Kopitar, who played after his wife, Ines, delivered the couple's first child, daughter Neza, early Saturday morning.
"I don't think we managed the puck good enough, especially coming out of our zone to make plays or to maybe set up some chances on the rush, or to have some [offensive] zone time. We're going to have to be better with that in the next game."
Smith ended Nashville's scoring drought at 113:33 with a power-play goal at 6:37 of the third period, tying the game 1-1. Ryan Ellis' shot leaked past Quick trickled toward the goal line; Smith chipped it inside the right post.
Kings center Nick Shore was serving a penalty for playing the puck with his hand during a faceoff.
"You have to call it," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It happens three or four times a year. Kids, it's an instinct play for them. Hopefully that's an experience he'll learn from."
Smith's goal ended Nashville's 0-for-18 power-play slump, which stretched nearly seven games.
Quick, whose shutout streak ended at 118:10, made a two-pad stack save on Jarnkrok in the opening minutes and backstopped the Kings with eight saves in the second period, his best on a one-timer from the slot by Filip Forsberg.
Jeff Carter 's team-leading 24th goal gave the Kings a 1-0 lead. Ellis blocked Andrej Sekera 's shot and the puck came to Carter, who scored on a snap shot at 7:44 on the power play for his sixth goal in seven games.
The Kings looked poised for a defensive, low-scoring win behind Quick before the two-goal, 66-second breakdown.
"That's kind of the way it goes throughout the season," forward Dwight King said. "Those balance out, eventually, I think. I think it's just unfortunate for … Muzzin. But they played hard. They worked for it too. I've got to give them a little bit of credit for that."
Nashville has allowed the first goal in 13 of its past 14 games.
Predators left wing James Neal and Kings center Jarret Stoll missed the game with upper-body injuries. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said Neal is day-to-day. The Predators finish a swing through California with a game against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.