Nashville Predators vs. Los Angeles Kings - 12/28/13
Los Angeles Kings (25-9-4) at Nashville Predators (16-17-4)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Nashville Predators +134 / Los Angeles Kings -147 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Nashville Predators welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night.
Nashville has had a run of slow starts, falling into a 3-0 deficit in each of its last two contests prior to Friday night’s game in Dallas. Before the break, Nashville fell behind 3-0 in the first period to the Boston Bruins, but the Predators didn’t quit. Craig Smith scored two goals to pull the Predators within a goal in the third period before the Bruins scored two quick goals in less than one minute to put the game out of reach. The Preds used both goaltenders, Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec, and outshot the Bruins in the game, only to come up empty for the fourth straight game and for the seventh time in its last ten contests.
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The Kings come into Nashville off of a home loss, which came at the hands of the Dallas Stars. The top line for the Stars finally found a way to expose Kings’ rookie goalie Martin Jones. Despite allowing five goals to Dallas, the Kings remain the toughest team to score on in the NHL, allowing 1.9 goals against per game. I think the Kings will look to stay focused as they trail Anaheim by five points in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, but with one game in hand on the Ducks.
The Kings come into this game winning 9 of the last 11 games, and going 8-2 in their last 10 road games. Los Angeles is 5-2 head to head in the last seven games versus Nashville. One edge that Nashville has in this matchup is that Los Angeles allows the third most power plays per game in the league at 3.9, and the Predators have a decent power play, scoring 21.6% of the time. However, the Predators have a difficult time finding the back of the net. In fact, David Legwand, who leads the Preds with 25 points, is 82nd in the NHL in points. With the defunct Nashville offense on a back-to-back, I think that the only play in this game is to side with the Kings.