Preds Dethrone Kings in Momentum Shifting Win
by Jackson Walsh
Coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to fierce rival Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators played fast, determined, and overall dominant in a 5-0 drubbing of the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena last night.
In a game that had ample implications for playoff positioning, Los Angeles (27-19-5, 59 pts) currently sits in the second wild card spot just above the Minnesota Wild, while Nashville (30-12-7, 67 pts) still sits at second in the Central division with a real shot at home ice advantage in the 2017-18 postseason.
The Predators got started early when Ryan Johansen slapped a puck by Jonathan Quick that was later waived off due to goaltender interference. Fortunately, it was not long after that that the Preds capitalized off a Craig Smith power play goal 10:02 into the first period. After Drew Doughty chipped a puck out of play to add to an already man advantaged Predators, Filip Forsberg added another quick wrist shot in the back of the net to make the score 2-0 at the 16:02 mark.
The Preds still were not done in the opening frame. Calle Jarnkrok also got on the score sheet at 17:21 with a stabbing backhand to improve the Preds lead to 3-0.
The way the team was able to score goals last night was almost scary, with constant pressure and multiple chances. Also more awareness on finding the back of the net. At 11:01 in the 2nd, off a turnover corralled by Mikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons went to the dirty places in front of the net and was able to pound the puck home for a 4-0 lead. The final dagger came in the 3rd period when Viktor Arvidsson appeared to have scored at the 9:44 mark but had the puck cleared out of harm’s way by Andre Kopitar before the puck went in the goal, but upon further review the puck crossed the red line cementing the final score at 5-0.
Next up for the home team is the Rangers on February 3rd. Let’s catch those Jets for the Central division lead.
Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press