The Nashville Predators are in Southern California for a back-to-back set this weekend, and it begins tonight in Los Angeles against the Kings at Staples Center. The contest is the second of three meetings this season between the two clubs; the Preds fell in L.A., 7-4, back in October, and they'll host the Kings in March.
The Preds began the New Year on Wednesday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas at the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Nashville scored the game's first two goals, before falling by a 4-2 final to the Stars.
"The next day after the Winter Classic, you've got to turn the page and look forward," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "We've got two really important games [in California]. Obviously [the Winter Classic] was a big game, and it was a special game, but we've got to move on. We're halfway through the season, so we've got to be focused on the next two games."
Predators Associate Captain Ryan Ellis was injured less than three minutes into the NHL Winter Classic, after taking an elbow up high from Dallas's Corey Perry. On Friday, the Predators placed Ellis on Injured Reserve and recalled defenseman Alexandre Carrier from Milwaukee.
Carrier leads all Admirals defensemen and is tied for third on the team in points with 25 (4g-21a) through 34 games this season. This is his second-career recall to the NHL, the first of which came in January of 2017 while the Preds were in Western Canada. Carrier played in two games during the recall.
The Preds practiced on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, and Carrier joined the team on the ice. Josi skated alongside Yannick Weber during the session.
Last Time Out:
Matt Duchene and Dante Fabbro scored power-play goals for the Preds in the Winter Classic, and Nashville Captain Roman Josi assisted on both tallies to push his career-best point streak to eight games. Josi also became the first defenseman in Predators franchise history to reach the 40-point mark in less than 40 games.
Josi continues to lead the Preds in scoring with 41 points, followed by Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene with 28 points apiece. Calle Jarnkrok has 27 points and Ryan Johansen has 25 points on the season. Josi and Forsberg are tied for the team lead in goals with 14, followed by Bonino with 13 and Jarnkrok with 12.
Tonight's contest is the first game of 2020 for the Kings. They closed out the decade with a 5-3 win over the Flyers on New Year's Eve. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 15 goals and 37 points, followed by Drew Doughty with 26 points and Tyler Toffoli with 23. Jeff Carter has 12 goals on the season, Toffoli has 11. Jonathan Quick is 11-15-2 in net for L.A.; Jack Campbell is 6-6-2.
The Predators are 36-27-(3)-8 all-time against the Kings, including a 20-12-(0)-6 record at STAPLES Center. Overall, the Preds have only lost twice in regulation to the Kings in their last 19 meetings (11-2-6), with Nashville having won six of seven.
The Preds have picked up a point in nine of their last 10 road games vs. the Kings (6-1-3). Preds TV Analyst 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.
Notables Versus Los Angeles:
Matt Duchene is Nashville's active points leader against Los Angeles with 20 points (6g-14a) in 25 career games versus the Kings, including two consecutive two-point efforts. Roman Josi has tallied 16 points (5g-11a) in 23 career games versus the Kings, including five points (1g-4a) in his last four meetings against Los Angeles.
Craig Smith has 11 points (7g-4a) in 25 games against the Kings, including three goals in his last six contests, and Filip Forsberg has five points (1g-4a) in his last six meetings with Los Angeles, and nine points (2g-7a) in 17 career games versus the Kings.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 9:30 p.m. (CT) puck drop in L.A. begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 9 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. Pregame coverage on the radio side begins at 8:30 p.m. with Darren McFarland. 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.
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