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game recap

Johansen leads Predators past Kings

Nashville's Ryan Johansen gets goal, two assists in win against Los Angeles

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Ryan Johansen had one goal and two assists to help the Nashville Predators to a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena on Monday. 

Johansen gave the Predators a 4-2 lead at 11:45 of the third period on a redirection. Defenseman Shea Weber took a wrist shot that was tipped by Johansen past Kings goaltender Jhonas Enroth.  

"It's very special," Johansen said. "We've got a lot of young bodies in this room. I think when they go home tonight, they're going to look at the standings and the result tonight and say 'Wow, we beat one of the best teams in the League and a team that's talked about a lot as a Stanley Cup contender.' We definitely use it as confidence throughout our group in this room and maybe being the playoff matchup."

James Neal, Mike Fisher, Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi had goals for Nashville (37-23-13), who moved within four points of the Chicago Blackhawks for third place in the Central Division. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves.

Video: LAK@NSH: Neal's wrister beats Quick for opening goal

Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez scored for Los Angeles (44-23-5), which remained four points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks atop the Pacific Division.

Neal opened the scoring at 7:37 of the second period on a wrist shot off a faceoff. Johansen won the draw back to Neal, who waited for traffic to go in front of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and shot it past him for his 28th goal. 

"That's a good team over there," Weber said. "That's a big team, a heavy team. I thought we were really good for two periods. Kind of a slow start in the third, but we knew they were going to come with a push and we had to answer back."

Fisher gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 13:17 of the second period on the power play. Neal took the initial shot, and Fisher was able to dive for the rebound and slide the puck past Quick. Neal reached 400 career points with the assist. 

Video: LAK@NSH: Fisher puts home own rebound for PPG

Fisher was honored before the game in recognition of 1,000 career games played. Fisher, who was joined on the ice by his wife, Carrie Underwood, and their son, reached the milestone on March 3 in a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

"It was special obviously, the ceremony," Fisher said. "Just tried to focus on the game. To [have] a lot of people in town, you want to play well. You definitely feel like you want to have a really good game, and everyone came to play tonight on our side."

Forsberg gave the Predators a 3-0 lead at 15:23 of the second period on a rebound. A shot by Josi bounced off Predators forward Craig Smith to Forsberg, who shot it past Quick for his 30th goal. 

"You can't really [target 30 goals in a season]," Forsberg said. "You never know. When you looked midway through the season I had I don't know how many, nine or 10 something maybe. You can't really do that, it's just going to mess up your head."

Video: LAK@NSH: Forsberg pads the lead with his 30th goal

Enroth replaced Quick to start the third period. Quick made 24 saves. 

Doughty scored 32 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1. He took a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and past Rinne for his 14th goal.

Martinez scored to make it 3-2 at 8:00 of the third period on a wrist shot from the point. Martinez's shot got through traffic and beat Rinne for his 10th goal.

"We come out in the third and we score right away," Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. "I think there was 12 minutes left when we scored the second one too, you know we were right back in it. But then the fourth [Predators goal] was the one that kind of sunk us. We've got to learn from our mistakes. Bottom line is you can't play a period like we did in the second tonight. You can't take a period like that off."

Video: LAK@NSH: Johansen's nice deflection extends the lead

Josi scored an empty-net goal to make it 5-2 at 19:31 of the third period. 

Los Angeles went 0-for-4 on the power play, including 0-for-3 in the third. 

"I thought tonight we were really quick," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Those are tough situations. It's a 3-2 game and we're finding ourselves shorthanded a few times there in the third. It's not the third period that you draw up or you hope to happen, and the penalty kill really came through tonight." 

Predators forward Eric Nystrom returned after missing 23 games with a broken foot. He replaced Austin Watson on the fourth line.

Video: Johansen's three-point night leads Preds past Kings

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