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Nashville Predators vs. Los Angeles Kings

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GAME: Nashville Predators (30-22-7-2) at Los Angeles Kings (23-17-14-7).

TIME: Monday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

Steve Sullivan might be small in stature but he's been huge during his short stay in Nashville.

Sullivan will try to continue his blistering start with the Predators when they travel to Los Angeles to face the Kings.

With a goal and three assists in Saturday's 8-2 rout of Phoenix, Sullivan has 10 points (five goals and five assists) in three games since coming over in a trade with Chicago last Monday.

Nashville has not lost with the 5-foot-8, 155-pounder in the lineup, winning all three games by a combined score of 18-7. The Predators climbed as high as fifth place in the Western Conference playoff race before Dallas jumped ahead of them by one point with a 4-0 win over Anaheim on Sunday.

"We're trying to put ourselves in a good position. We don't want to let it come down to the last five or six games," said Sullivan, who has also played for New Jersey and Toronto during his 10-year career. "We want to try - if we can - to get a cushion, get really nice and thick into the middle of things."

Sullivan's presence has made an immediate impact on Scott Walker, who also has 10 points in his last three games (two goals and eight assists).

The eight goals on Saturday were a season high for the Predators, who are 4-1-1 after a three-game losing streak.

Los Angeles, which trails Nashville by two points, is tied with St. Louis for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.

Ian Laperriere had two goals and an assist as the Kings beat Columbus 4-3 on Saturday.

Luc Robitaille scored a power-play goal, Sean Avery had a goal and an assist and Eric Belanger added two assists to help Los Angeles end an eight-game winless streak against Columbus.

The Kings have amassed 31 points in their last 30 games despite winning only seven times (7-6-13-4).

STANDINGS: Predators - 69 points, 2nd place, 11 PB, Central Division. Kings - 67 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Sullivan, 20 goals, 33 assists and 53 points; Jordin Tootoo, 116 PIM. Kings - Alexander Frolov, 19 goals; Ziggy Palffy and Jozef Stumpel, 25 assists; Palffy, 41 points; Avery, 218 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 21): Predators - Power play: 16.6 percent (53 for 319), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (234 for 285), 23rd (tied). Kings - Power play: 14.2 percent (38 for 267), 24th. Penalty killing: 80.1 percent (218 for 272), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (27-21-6, 2 SO, 2.61 GAA); Chris Mason (3-3-1, 1, 2.11). Kings - Cristobal Huet (5-7-8, 2, 2.63); Roman Cechmanek (18-16-6, 5, 2.43).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 13; Tie, 0-0, OT. At Nashville, Mason made 33 saves for his first NHL shutout and Los Angeles' Cechmanek finished with 29 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 11-15-2-1 on the road; Kings - 11-9-8-1 at home.


Associated Press
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