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Game Day: Kings vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(33-20-4) Los Angeles Kings vs. Nashville Predators (27-21-10)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #LAKvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Golden Saturday | Hockey Fights Cancer


The Nashville Predators finish off their three-game home stand this evening as they host the Los Angeles Kings on a Golden Saturday in Smashville.

The Preds have collected three out of a possible four points in the current home stretch, including a 2-0 shutout over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Nashville has points in five of their last six outings and have won four consecutive Saturday night games. The Kings fell 2-1 in overtime to St. Louis on Thursday night and are 4-5-1 in their last 10 outings.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne posted his third shutout of the season, and the 39th of his career, on Thursday night against the Boston Bruins in the 2-0 victory. Rinne's next shutout will make him the fifth active NHL goaltender with 40-career shutouts behind Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc-Andre Fleury and Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has 40 career shutouts. The Finnish goaltender is the franchise leader in games played (428), wins (225), save percentage (.917), goals-against average (2.37) and shutouts (39).

Forward Filip Forsberg, who has six goals in his last six games, leads the Predators with six goals during the month of February and also leads the team with nine points during the calendar’s second month.

With 181 power-play points (77g-104a), Captain Shea Weber remains one point away from tying Kimmo Timonen for the top spot on the all-time franchise list. Timonen registered 182 points on the power play (46g-136a) during his time with the club.
 
Defenseman Roman Josi holds the team lead in points with 42, including 11 goals on the season. Forsberg is second with 39 points, followed by Mike Ribeiro with 38. Weber has 36 points from the blue line and winger James Neal is one behind at 35. Neal leads the club in goals with 21, while Forsberg hit the 20-goal mark on Thursday, the second consecutive season he's done so. Weber has 15 goals this season; Craig Smith has tallied 13 times. Rinne is 21-18-8 on the season.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis is on a four-game point streak versus the Kings (3g-2a); Ryan Johansen has a point in five of his last six games against L.A. (1g-4a). Mike Fisher has a point in four of his last five outings versus Los Angeles (3g-3a), while Weber has a point in five of his last six games against the Kings (2g-3a).

Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in points with 51, including 17 goals. However, Kopitar left Thursday's game against the Blues and is considered day-to-day, according the to the team. Tyler Toffoli leads the club in goals with 24 and is second in points with 43, followed by Jeff Carter, who has 40 points. Defenseman Drew Doughty has 11 goals and 37 points, while Milan Lucic has added 14 goals to go along with 68 penalty minutes for the Kings. Quick holds a 28-15-3 record between the pipes.

Tonight is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. The two met on Oct. 31 at Staples Center, with the Kings winning 4-3 in overtime. Ellis, Neal and Weber each had a goal for the Predators.

The two teams have played seven-consecutive, one-goal games. All-time, the Predators are 29-25-8, including a 12-14-4 record versus the Kings at Bridgestone Arena.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Austin Watson, Barret Jackman and Viktor Arvidsson


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Forwards
Calle Jarnkrok Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Mike Fisher Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki Paul Gaustad Austin Watson
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman Anthony Bitetto

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Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the projected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Petter Granberg, (F) Cody Bass, (F) Eric Nystrom (IR; lower-body), Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body)


Los Angeles Kings:

Center Anze Kopitar left Thursday's game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.


Forwards
Milan Lucic Jeff Carter Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King Vincent Lecavalier Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson Nick Shore Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford Andy Andreoff Jordan Nolan
Defense
Brayden McNabb Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin Alec Martinez
Jamie McBain Luke Schenn

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Goaltenders: Jonathan Quick is the expected starter with Jhonas Enroth serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Matt Greene, (F) Marian Gaborik, (F) Michael Mersch, (D) Kevin Gravel, (F) Anze Kopitar

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