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game recap

Predators end three-game slide with win against Kings

Four players score, Josi has two assists for Nashville to extend point streak to nine

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Johansen doubles the lead

NSH@LAK: Johansen finishes off Josi's backhand feed

Roman Josi makes a spin move before sending a slick feed to Ryan Johansen, who scores to increase the Predators' lead to 2-0 late in the 1st

  • 00:35 •

LOS ANGELES -- Roman Josi had two assists for the Nashville Predators to extend his point streak to an NHL career-best nine games in a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

Josi has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) during his streak, which is tied for the longest in Predators history by a defenseman with Shea Weber (Dec. 31, 2010, through Jan. 16, 2011).

"You get lucky sometimes, I think," Josi said. "Sometimes pucks bounce your way, they go in. I think, personally, I've been trying to play my game all year, and no matter what happens, I try to just stick to my game. I think I've been doing that the last couple games, and I guess that the bounces just went my way the last couple games."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Kings highlights]

 

Pekka Rinne made 23 saves for the Predators (19-15-6), who ended a three-game losing streak.

Alex Iafallo scored a power-play goal to extend his point streak to six games for the Kings (17-22-4), who are 2-4-1 in their past seven games. Jack Campbell allowed four goals on 38 shots.

"Quite disappointed in the group," Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. "Haven't said that very often with our team, but I just thought one team was so much more intense and hard and committed to doing it over and over again, and another team was gonna try and win it the easy way."

Video: NSH@LAK: Trenin deflects home feed from Irwin

Rocco Grimaldi gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 10:21 of the first period by following up his own shot and scoring over Campbell's left shoulder on the rebound.

Ryan Johansen made it 2-0 at 19:16 on a one-timer off Josi's pass through the slot. Josi spun past Kings forward Matt Luff to create separation, then skated to the right face-off circle and got three Kings looking at him, giving Johansen a shot into an open net.

Grimaldi described Josi's ninth assist in the past five game as "ridiculous."

"That was crazy," Grimaldi said.

Predators coach Peter Laviolette said, "It was awesome. I mean, he's been doing that all year. And it wasn't just that play. He was attacking the offensive zone whenever he saw a seam or saw a crack in it, and just pushing the pace offensively, was beautiful play all the way from the blue line."

Iafallo cut the lead to 2-1 at 5:57 of the second period. Tyler Toffoli stole the puck from Josi in the Predators zone and found Iafallo for a wrist shot in the slot.

Iafallo has seven points (three goals, four assists) during his streak.

Yakov Trenin gave Nashville a 3-1 lead at 9:37 of the third period when he redirected Matt Irwin's shot and sent the puck bouncing past Campbell.

Craig Smith made it 4-1 at 10:46, getting to the far post to tap in the rebound of Grimaldi's shot.

McLellan cited the Smith goal as an example of how the Kings were outworked by the Predators, especially on face-offs in the defensive zone.

"I include the last one 'cause we won the draw and didn't do anything with it, so four goals off face-offs," McLellan said.

Video: NSH@LAK: Smith puts home rebound with backhander

 

They said it

"I mean, they've been great all year, and it's the same as last year. We had a lot of injuries last year, probably even more than this year, and guys have stepped up. When guys are either getting called up or moving up the lineup or whatever it is, they're hungry to prove that they belong here, and it helps our team and creates more competition." -- Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi on their defensemen

Video: NSH@LAK: Grimaldi cleans up own rebound

"Perhaps this is good for our team, a little piece of humble pie won't hurt us right now. Gives us an indication that we still got a lot of work to do." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

 

Need to know

Josi's 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) are the most in a player's first 40 games of a season in Predators history, one more than Steve Sullivan had in 2006-07. ... Nashville is 7-1-3 in its past 11 games at Staples Center. ... Toffoli has two goals and one assist during a three-game point streak. ... Predators forward Matt Duchene was scratched because of illness. ... Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro did not play because of an upper-body injury and is considered day to day. ... Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was minus-1 with one shot on goal in 17:58 in his return after missing 18 games because of a lacerated wrist he sustained Nov. 25. ... The Kings placed defenseman Joakim Ryan on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury.

 

What's next

Predators: At the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-W, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Video: Josi, Predators top Kings

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