After compiling a 3-1-0 record on their four-game homestand, the Nashville Predators are on the road for the first time this season, and their three-game trip begins today in Los Angeles against the Kings with a 5 p.m. CT start.
It's the first of three meetings between the two this season; Nashville will travel back to L.A. following the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, and the Kings will visit Tennessee in March.
The Predators have scored a franchise-record 19 goals through their first four games, and six of those came in a thrilling victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. Nashville tallied four times in the third period, including Matt Duchene's first goal as a member of the Preds, as they provided the home crowd with one of the most entertaining games in recent memory.
Now, the Predators are headed west, and while stating that playing a simple game away from home might be one of the most well-known hockey clichés, it's not all that far off either.
"That's the mindset," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "You want to play a simple game, but at the same time, I think you want to play the same way as you do at home. You don't want to go out there and start hesitating, you want to be on the attack and play an aggressive game. We want to do the same thing on the road as we did [in Nashville], but it's always a little different on the road "
Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, was back on the ice during Friday's practice after missing Thursday's game. Forward Daniel Carr made his Preds debut on Thursday as he took Grimaldi's place in the lineup.
Video: Ekholm, Bonino power Predators to wild 6-5 victory
Last Time Out:
Ryan Johansen scored twice - including once on the power play - to help lead the Preds to that 6-5 thriller on Thursday. In addition to Johansen and Duchene, Filip Forsberg potted his fourth in as many games, Nick Bonino tied things at five and Mattias Ekholm scored the winner with less than five minutes to play in regulation. Goaltender Pekka Rinne picked up his third win in three tries on the young season.
Duchene leads the club with eight points, followed by Forsberg with six points and Johansen with five. Johansen, Josi, Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson have each tallied twice, while Forsberg's four goals lead the group.
Video: Preds ready for first road trip of the season
Today is the home opener for the Kings at STAPLES Center, as they look to improve upon their 1-2-0 record. Los Angeles began the campaign with a trip through Western Canada, including an 8-2 loss to the Canucks on Wednesday.
Anze Kopitar leads the club with five points, followed by Drew Doughty and Ilya Kovalchuk with four points each. Doughty, Tyler Toffoli and Sean Walker have two goals apiece. Jack Campbell has the lone win in net for the Kings; Jonathan Quick has lost both decisions ans had a .750 save percentage.
The Predators are 36-26-(3)-8 all-time against the Kings, including a 20-11-(0)-6 record at STAPLES Center. Overall, the Preds have only lost once in regulation to the Kings in their last 18 meetings (11-1-6), with Nashville currently on a six-game win streak.
The Preds have picked up a point in each of their last nine road games versus the Kings (6-0-3).
Former Predators goaltender turned current broadcaster Chris Mason made 33 saves in his first NHL shutout as Nashville and Los Angeles played to the first scoreless tie at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 13, 2004.
Video: Coach Laviolette ready to head on the road
Notables Versus Los Angeles:
Matt Duchene is Nashville's active points leader against Los Angeles with 19 points (5g-14a) in 24 career games versus the Kings, including two consecutive two-point efforts. Roman Josi has tallied 15 points (5g-10a) in 22 career games against the Kings, including four points (1g-3a) in his last three meetings against Los Angeles.
Calle Jarnkrok notched his first career hat trick on Nov. 17, 2018, versus Los Angeles.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for this evening's 5 p.m. (CT) puck drop in Los Angeles begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 4:30 p.m. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill will broadcast on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
If the Predators are playing hockey, you can count on the game being on at Preds Approved Bars & Restaurants. Locations throughout Tennessee may be seen by clicking here.
Tonight's Preds Official Watch Party takes place at The Cowan at Top Golf.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the Fox Sports Go App or Watch on NHL.TV