(44-22-5) Los Angeles Kings vs. Nashville Predators (36-23-13)
7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #LAKvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
The Nashville Predators begin a four-game home stand tonight when they host the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena in what is a potential first-round playoff matchup.
The Preds are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night, but still have points in 16 of their last 18 games. Los Angeles became the first Western Conference team to clinch a 2016 postseason berth after a 2-1 win over the Bruins on Saturday. Nashville has points in seven consecutive home games and are 6-2-2 in their last 10 outings.
“They’re playing really well right now,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of the Kings. “They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical, they’re good defensively, they have a good goaltender, they’re capable offensively and they have some talented players on their team. Any time you play teams like that, you know you’re going to be in for a battle. You have to be ready to compete, be ready to play the game fast.”
Preds Captain Shea Weber has notched 17 goals and 28 assists, giving him 45 points on the season for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Since 2010-11, Weber is one of only two defensemen in the NHL to accomplish that feat (Erik Karlsson from Ottawa is the other), while his 271 points are fifth and 99 goals are first among all NHL defensemen in that time frame.
The Predators have not allowed a power-play goal in their last seven games, stopping all 22 opposition power plays in that span. This is the third time this season that the club has had a streak of at least five games where they killed off the opposing team's power play, with the season high being seven games (twice this season).
Filip Forsberg leads the Preds with 29 goals and 53 points on the season, followed by Roman Josi with 51 points. Mike Ribeiro has 47 points on the season, including 40 assists, while James Neal has 26 goals and 46 points. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 29-19-10 on the campaign.
Defenseman Ryan Ellis is on a five-game point streak versus the Kings (4g-2a) while Mike Fisher has a point in five of his last six games against Los Angeles (3g-4a). Both Weber and Ryan Johansen have a point in five of their last seven outings versus the Kings
Anze Kopitar is the leading point-getter for the Kings, posting 24 goals and 65 points overall. Jeff Carter has 61 points and Tyler Toffoli has potted 26 goals and 48 points. Jonathan Quick is 37-17-4 on the season with four shutouts.
Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the two teams this season, with Nashville losing in overtime in both of the previous occasions.
Heading into tonight's game, the Preds are undefeated in regulation against the Kings in their last eight meetings, posting a 5-0-3 record in that span. Nashville's last regulation loss against the Kings came on March 4, 2013. All-time, the Predators are 29-25-9 against the Kings.
Mike Fisher, who skated in his 1,000th NHL game on Mar. 3, will be honored tonight in a special pregame ceremony. Aside from a video tribute, the club will present him with a silver stick and a framed collage of photos from his career. The Foundation will also be making a donation of $5,000 to The Room in the Inn, along with a $2,500 donation from Mike’s agency to the non-profit. In addition to the organization’s gifts, the NHL will also present him with a Tiffany crystal and his teammates will give him a special gift. Delaware North will be providing 1,000 hot dogs to The Room in the Inn.
Tonight’s game is 90’s Night and $1 Hot Dog Night, presented by Kayem. Fans will also have the opportunity tonight to see their favorite wild animals up close and personal at the Nashville Zoo table (outside Section 120) as part of Nashville Zoo Night.
Predators Game Day Video:Preds Players: Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi and Petter Granberg
What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown
Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette
The Predators held an optional morning skate on Monday. The below lineup is based on Sunday's practice rushes, but includes forward Eric Nystrom, who was recalled from Milwaukee (AHL) on Sunday and said following the morning skate that he expects to play this evening.
| ||Forwards || |
|Calle Jarnkrok ||Ryan Johansen ||James Neal |
|Filip Forsberg ||Mike Ribeiro ||Craig Smith |
|Miikka Salomaki ||Mike Fisher ||Viktor Arvidsson |
|Colin Wilson ||Colton Sissons ||Eric Nystrom |
| ||Defense || |
|Roman Josi ||Shea Weber |
|Barret Jackman ||Ryan Ellis |
|Mattias Ekholm ||Petter Granberg |
Goaltenders: The Preds have not annouced a starting goaltender yet.
Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto (lower-body), (F) Paul Gaustad (upper-body), (F) Austin Watson, (F) Gabriel Bourque (upper-body)
Los Angeles Kings:
Forward Kris Versteeg (lower-body, day-to-day) did not take part in the Kings morning skate and may not play tonight.
| ||Forwards || |
|Milan Lucic ||Anze Kopitar ||Tyler Toffoli |
|Kyle Clifford ||Jeff Carter ||Dustin Brown |
|Tanner Pearson ||Vincent Lecavalier ||Trevor Lewis |
|Dwight King ||Nick Shore ||Andy Andreoff |
| ||Defense || |
|Rob Scuderi ||Drew Doughty |
|Jake Muzzin ||Alec Martinez |
|Brayden McNabb ||Luke Schenn |
Goaltenders: Jonathan Quick is the projected starter with Jhonas Enroth serving as the backup.
Extra: (D) Matt Greene, (F) Marian Gaborik (IR), (F) Jordan Nolan, (D) Jamie McBain, (F) Kris Versteeg (lower-body)