The Nashville Predators are right back on the ice tonight in Los Angeles as they continue their five-game road trip against the Kings at Staples Center.
The Preds are looking to rebound after last night's 6-1 loss in Anaheim, a game that saw them give up three power-play goals and two more of the shorthanded variety.
"We have to be tougher to play against, just generally speaking," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said after the game. "Specialty teams just swung the pendulum tonight in the wrong direction; the shorthanded goals and the power-play goals were too much for any team. We have to do a better job just being harder to play against."
P.K. Subban (2g-3a) and Filip Forsberg (5a) remain tied for the team lead with five points, while Mike Fisher and Viktor Arvidsson have tallied three times each. Pekka Rinne started last night's game in Anaheim before being pulled for Marek Mazanec after the fourth goal.
The Kings have won three games in a row, all via overtime or a shootout, including a 3-2 OT win over Columbus on Tuesday. Forward Tanner Pearson (4g-2a) leads the club with six points, followed by Anze Kopitar, Alec Martinez, Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli, who all have five points. Los Angeles is down two goaltenders, as Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff are both out with injuries. Peter Budaj has gone 3-0-0 in his four appearances this season.
Video: Nashville says they want to be harder to play against
As the Preds look to reverse last night's outcome, here are three things to watch for against the Kings:
Nashville's start against the Ducks wasn't bad whatsoever, but the second period was one they'd like to have back. So what happened? According to defenseman P.K. Subban, coming into games with the proper focus could be a key to seeing improvement.
"I think as a group, we can just all be better right now, and we have to be because teams are hungry," Subban said. "The teams that we're playing are all really good teams, so we can't go into any game with the wrong mindset. We have to have the right mindset, and that's playing the right way and we have to do that consistently for 60 minutes."
Everything's Not Lost:
While last night's game is one the Preds would like to forget, it's important to remember that the team is only six games into their current season, with plenty of time left to correct the errors. As Coach Laviolette said during his postgame address, he'd like his team to be harder to play against. A group with a lot of pride, look for the Preds to come out tonight with a better effort from the start tonight against the Kings.
"We're only a couple games in, so I don't think we're going to sum up our season right now in the first couple games, but the reality is that right now we're giving up too much," Subban said.
Sooner Than Later:
The Kings have won three straight games, two of those wins coming in overtime, the third via a shootout. Good teams find ways to win those games, but a consistent 60 minutes for the Preds could keep Los Angeles from even having the opportunity they have in the past three contests.
Take It In:
Tonight's 9:30 p.m. (CT) start can be seen on Fox Sports Tennessee, with the Predators Live pregame show presented by Nissan beginning at 9 p.m. with Willy Daunic, Stu Grimson and Lyndsay Rowley. On the radio dial, Pete Weber and Brent Peterson have the call on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network.