Jeff Carter scored in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Nashville Predators by a 3-2 final on Thursday night at Staples Center, the second half of a back-to-back for the Preds.
Nashville talked about improving their effort from the night before, which they did, but it didn't prove to be enough.
"It's not coming easy right now as far as offense and the goals," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's just hard to come by right now for a lot of our guys, but I asked for a better effort and the guys gave that today. But in the end, we have to find points, we have to find wins and have to continue to push for that."
Video: NSH Recap: Carter lifts Kings over Preds in OT, 3-2
Craig Smith got the game's first goal, the first time this season the Preds have had a 1-0 lead, when he fired a shot in the slot past Peter Budaj. Jake Muzzin's power-play strike evened the score before the period was out, and the teams traded goals early in the third.
Viktor Arvidsson's shorthanded tally came one minute into the final regulation period, his fourth of the season to give him the team lead in goals. Less than a minute later, Tyler Toffoli tied the game, 2-2, forcing the Preds to overtime for the first time this season.
In the extra session, Nashville's penalty kill went to work, with goaltender Pekka Rinne turning aside a number of Kings chances before Carter ended it with 29 seconds to play.
"There's always times in the year when everything goes in, you get the bounces, and sometimes you don't," defenseman Roman Josi said. "It's all going to even itself out. You can't control that, and all we can control is our effort and I liked that tonight."
The Preds know a better effort doesn't always equate to two points in the standings, but the improvements over the course of 24 hours leave something to build on before heading to San Jose for a Saturday night tilt.
"You want to win, and there's always frustration when you don't win," Josi said. "We know there's a lot of things we can do better, but we can't get too frustrated. There's a lot of season left, but we have to work on some things and hopefully get better as the season goes on."
Preds defenseman Matt Irwin made his season debut on Thursday night, skating for 12:15 of ice time and throwing three hits. Irwin is the third Predators player in franchise history to wear No. 52, joining Alexander Sulzer and Austin Watson.
Matt Carle and Harry Zolnierczyk were Nashville's scratches against the Kings.
The Preds fly to San Jose on Friday in preparation to face the Sharks on Saturday night and to conclude the California portion of the five-game road trip.