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Carter strikes in OT, Kings nab 7th-straight win

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – In a phenomenal back-and-forth battle Saturday afternoon, Jeff Carter scored with 18 seconds left in overtime to lead the Kings to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators at STAPLES Center – the club’s 7th-straight victory.

Tyler Toffoli, with two more goals Saturday, is now tied for the league-lead (9) with Dallas’ Jamie Benn.

Neither club was able to dent the scoreboard during the opening frame, but a flurry of power play goals wrung their way into the game in the second.

On the Kings’ second power play of the afternoon, Tyler Toffoli planted himself in front of Nashville’s net while the puck was worked around the perimeter. Christian Ehrhoff, with the puck along the sideboards, found Toffoli with a pass, who turned and fired a backhand shot past Pekka Rinne to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

Later in the second, the Kings were called for a pair of penalties, and the Predators executed on both of their power plays – taking a 2-1 lead with two goals in a 3:22 minute span.

In the third, the Kings found themselves in more penalty trouble, but it was the man coming out of the box who developed the club’s second goal of the evening.

Upon exiting the box after serving his two-minute high-sticking infraction, Trevor Lewis split up a Predators play in the Kings’ zone, burst through a defender with the puck, and skated in on a two-on-one with Tyler Toffoli, who scored his second goal of the afternoon after receiving a pass from Lewis.

Just over three minutes later, Andy Andreoff potted his first goal of the season to give the Kings a 3-2 lead.

Working with the puck in Nashville’s zone, Jake Muzzin scooped up a puck rimming along the boards and fired it into traffic, where it caromed off of a player or two, and found its way directly on the stick of Andreoff, who was set up on Pekka Rinne’s back-door.

The Predators tied the game minutes later on Ryan Ellis’ slapshot that beat Quick high to the glove-side.

Tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, the Kings had a game extended to overtime for just the second time this season. After minutes of animated back-and-forth play, Jeff Carter netted the game-winning goal with 18 seconds left.

Drew Doughty likely saved the game for the Kings when he broke up a pass intended for an open Predators forward sitting on Jonathan Quick’s back-door. After breaking up the play, Doughty immediately fed Carter, who was streaking up the left, walked in alone on Rinne, and with patience, caught the goaltender down and roofed a shot to win the game.

Tyler Toffoli (2G) and Jake Muzzin (2A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Drew Doughty in shots taken (6), Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty in hits delivered (3), Christian Ehrhoff and Alec Martinez in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:10). Jonathan Quick made 31 saves in the win.

The Kings will now head out on a two-game road trip, which begins Monday night when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at 5:30PM PST at the United Center. After the two-game trip, which ends in St. Louis on Tuesday, the Kings will return to Los Angeles for a five-game home stand at STAPLES Center.





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