GAME: Los Angeles Kings (16-14-8-4) at Nashville Predators (20-16-4-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.
The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of their longest winless streak in
two decades, and just found out their leading scorer is out for the season.
The only good news is that they're headed to Nashville.
The Kings will begin life without Zigmund Palffy and try to snap a
season-high 11-game winless skid when they meet the Predators at the Gaylord
Entertainment Center -- where they haven't lost in their last 10 visits.
Trent Klatt's two power-play goals provided the Kings with a 2-2 tie against
Columbus on Saturday night. However, Los Angeles is a dismal 0-3-7-1 during its
winless streak -- its longest slide since a 16-game winless skid during the
Los Angeles, which is looking for its first win since a 4-2 home victory
over Edmonton on Dec. 16, will not be able to rely on the return of Palffy this
season. Injured in last Wednesday's 4-4 tie with Anaheim, the star right wing
underwent reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder Monday and won't play
again this season.
The Kings also placed forward Martin Straka on the injured list, retroactive
to Sunday, and recalled center Esa Pirnes and right wing Scott Barney from the
Manchester of the AHL. Straka sprained his knee during Saturday night's tie
with Columbus. He has 10 goals and 13 assists in 40 games this season.
Despite all the bad news, the Kings have to like their chances of getting
back on track in Nashville, where they are riding an 8-0-2 streak.
"They are no different than any other team we've played," Predators
captain Greg Johnson said of the Kings. "I don't know if it is a mental block
or what, but we just haven't got it done against them."
The Predators, who haven't beaten the Kings at home since a 3-2 victory on
April 3, 1999, are coming off a 3-3 tie with Minnesota on Monday. Sergei
Zholtok provided the equalizer on a slap shot with 13.9 seconds left in
regulation for Minnesota.
Nashville is 4-2-1 in January, but unbeaten in its last six at home (5-0-1).