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Kings-Predators Preview @NHL
Kings-Predators Preview

GAME: Los Angeles Kings (15-6-1) at Nashville Predators (13-3-3).

TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Los Angeles Kings already had one of the most potent offenses in the NHL before two of their key offensive weapons returned from injury.

With Luc Robitaille and Derek Armstrong back in the lineup, the first-place Kings seek their fourth straight win as they visit the Nashville Predators.

Robitaille was activated from injured reserve after missing nine games because of a broken bone in his lower right leg and played in Los Angeles' 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Armstrong also returned after missing five games with a groin injury.

Both spent fewer than nine minutes on the ice and neither recorded a point. Both have been key contributors this season with Robitaille totaling four goals and three assists in 12 games and Armstrong adding two goals and eight assists in 12 contests.

Joseph Corvo had his first career two-goal game and Pavol Demitra matched his career-high with four assists, leading the Kings to their sixth win in eight games. Los Angeles is second in the Western Conference and third in the NHL with 84 goals scored.

Demitra has three goals and 11 assists in his last five games.

"You always have extra energy when you come in and play against the team you played for," Demitra said. "I was nervous a little bit at the start of the game and especially at the start of the day, but when the game began I just felt great."

The Predators won for the fifth time in six games on Wednesday, beating the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2.

Jeremy Stevenson, Dan Hamhuis, David Legwand and Scott Hartnell scored for Nashville, which snapped a five-game road losing skid in the finale of a two-game trip.

"We wanted this one going home," said backup goalie Chris Mason, who made 35 saves. "We played them well."

The Predators have won four straight and nine of 10 home games. Only Calgary (10) has more home wins than Nashville.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 23): Kings - 31 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Predators - 29 points, 2nd place, 5 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Alexander Frolov, 12 goals; Demitra, 22 assists and 33 points; Sean Avery, 69 PIM. Predators - Steve Sullivan, 8 goals; Paul Kariya and Kimmo Timonen, 12 assists; Kariya, 19 points; Stevenson, 50 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 23): Kings - Power play: 17.6 percent (25 for 142), 18th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.4 percent (117 for 137), 5th. Predators - Power play: 19 percent (23 for 121), 12th. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (108 for 126), 3rd.

GOALTENDERS: Kings - Mathieu Garon (7-4-0, 3.04 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (8-2-1, 2.44). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (11-3-2, 2.53); Mason (2-0-1, 2.89).


LAST MEETING: Nov. 15; Predators, 3-2. At Nashville, Tenn., Jeff Cowan scored the eventual game-winner for the Predators, who ended a seven-game winless streak against the Kings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 6-3-1 on the road; Predators - 9-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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