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Predators at Kings preview

Nashville out to end three-game skid; Defenseman Martinez returns for Los Angeles

by Dan Greenspan / Independent Correspondent

PREDATORS (18-15-6) at KINGS (17-21-4)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-TN, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Nashville Predators will try to end a three-game losing streak when they face the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

Nashville, which has been outscored 15-8 in its past three games, will try to avoid tying its longest losing streak this season (Nov. 12-21).

It is the first game for the Predators since they were defeated 4-2 by the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas on Wednesday, their third straight defeat following a five-game point streak (4-0-1). 

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez will return after missing 18 games with a wrist injury sustained against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 25. Los Angeles, which defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Tuesday, is 2-3-1 in its past six games.


Players to watch

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) during an eight-game point streak. 

Kings forward Alex Iafallo, who has six points (two goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak, will play his 200th NHL game. 


They said it

"Obviously it was a big game, and it was a special game, but, yeah, we got to move on. We're halfway through the season so we got to be focused on the next two games." -- Predators defenseman Roman Josi on the team playing for the first time since the Winter Classic

"We haven't had that much practice time in the month of December, we're on the road a lot, so it's nice to get back here and get back into practice mode for a little bit before the games. And I think it's going to be really helpful for us." -- Kings center Michael Amadio on holding three full practices this week


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Mikael Granlund -- Kyle Turris -- Matt Duchene

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Calle Jarnkrok -- Colin Blackwell -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Yannick Weber

Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Jarred Tinordi, Yakov Trenin, Alexandre Carrier

Injured: Ryan Ellis (upper body), Colton Sissons (lower body)

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Martin Frk -- Jeff Carter -- Nikolai Prokhorkin

Kyle Clifford -- Michael Amadio -- Matt Luff

Sean Walker -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Kale Clague

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy

Jack Campbell

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: None

Injured: Dustin Brown (illness), Joakim Ryan (undisclosed), Trevor Lewis (upper body), Derek Forbort (back)

Suspended: Kurtis MacDermid


Status report

Ellis was placed on injured reserve Friday. He left the Winter Classic in the first period after being elbowed in the head by Stars forward Corey Perry. … Carrier was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Friday. … MacDermid will serve the first game of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov on Thursday. … Brown, who will miss his fourth straight game because of pneumonia, has resumed practicing.


Stat pack

Josi has seven assists in his past four games. … Kopitar has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games. … Toffoli has scored in consecutive games.

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