(11-6-4) Los Angeles Kings vs. Nashville Predators (13-5-2)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The GameTickets
The Nashville Predators welcome the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings to Bridgestone Arena tonight, the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season. Nashville is coming off of their 13th victory on the campaign, a 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Saturday's contest marked the 20th game of the season for the Preds, and the win helped the club match the 2006-07 Predators squad for the second-best 20-game start in franchise history. Both seasons saw the Preds rattle off 13-5-2 records, good for 28 points.
Predators forward Matt Cullen is set to establish a franchise record tonight, as he will become the oldest player in team history to skate in a game at 38 years and 23 days old. Cullen now has seven points (3g-4a) in 12 games this season, and his shooting percentage of 17.6 percent is second best on the team, behind only Mike Ribeiro (20.8).
Filip Forsberg, who tallied his first career shootout goal, which also happened to be the game-winner on Saturday, continues to lead the team in points, as well as a number of NHL categories. The Swede leads the Preds and all NHL rookies with 22 points (9g-13a). Forsberg is also tops among rookie forwards in time on ice (17:06) and leads the entire League in plus/minus (+20).
Nashville forward Olli Jokinen, who tallied his first goal as a Predator last Thursday in Ottawa, was originally drafted third overall by the Kings in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Jokinen tallied one of his seven career hat tricks against Los Angeles in February of 2009. Preds forward Mike Ribeiro has 42 points (12g-30a) in 49 career games when facing the Kings, his fifth most tallies against any League opponent.
On the opposite bench, Tyler Toffoli leads the Kings in points with 18 (8g-10a), and along with Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson, skate on a line that has a combined total of 47 points this season. Jonathan Quick owns a 10-4-4 record between the Los Angeles pipes, posting a 2.22 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. The Kings have been excellent at home, earning a 10-2-1 record in L.A., but are just 1-4-3 away from the Staples Center.
Tuesday's meeting is the only get-together in Nashville for the two this season, with the Preds having won 13 of 22 games against the Kings since the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign (13-8-1). Nashville had a 2-0-1 record against the Kings last season.
Predators Locker Room Video:
What to Watch for: Brent and Willy's Breakdown
Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis & Eric Nystrom:
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
Nashville Morning Skate Lines:
Forsberg - Ribeiro - Neal
Wilson - Jarnkrok - Smith
Cullen - Jokinen - Roy
Nystrom - Gaustad - Beck
Extra: Bourque, Fisher
Josi - Weber
Ekholm - Ellis
Volchenkov - Jones
*expected to start in goalLos Angeles Projected Lines:
Gaborik - Kopitar - Lewis
King - Carter - Toffoli
Brown - Stoll - Williams
Clifford - Richards - Pearson
Muzzin - Doughty
McNabb - Greene
Regehr - McBain
*expected to start in goal