Forsberg and Predators stay warm with 4-2 win over Kings
The three qualified again Thursday night as the Predators extended their winning streak to three games with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Forsberg notched a goal and an assist for his third consecutive multi-point outing, while Saros had a season-high with 46 saves. Nashville’s power play unit was also important with two goals in the first period.
âWe found a way. Our special teams played a big role and we got some good goalies, said coach John Hynes. “You have to find different ways to win and we were able to do it.”
Nashville went 11-2-1 in its last 14 games to take the lead in the Central Division. During that span, Forsberg has led the NHL with 12 goals while Saros is 9-2 with a 1.81 goals-against average and 94.4% save rate.
Matt Duchene scored his first goal in 10 games, and Matt Luff and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators. Roman Josi added two assists.
Saros’ 46 saves were tied for the fourth most of his career, and it was the second game in a row where he was under heavy pressure. He stopped 41 shots in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Vegas.
âI like it when there is a lot of action. I kind of follow the rhythm of these games,â said Saros. “I think everyone has a sense of what we need to do to be successful. It’s good when everyone is involved and we keep our foot on the gas.”
Dustin Brown and Martin Frk scored for Los Angeles, who lost despite a 48-20 advantage in shots on goal. Jonathan Quick made 16 saves.
Kings coach Todd McLellan lamented his team’s difficulties in eliminating penalties. Los Angeles has allowed five power play goals in the last four games.
âLet’s face it, our team needs to improve in the special teams area. We’re focusing on that, we’re working on it, and it just needs to improve,â he said. âIf this group is to go ahead and get where it needs to go, the penalty kill has to improve and the power play has to improve.
The Predators are sixth in the league power play at 25.8% and have scored nine power play goals in their last seven games.
Forsberg scored from the right circle 3:49 into the opening for his third power play goal of the season. Duchene extended the lead with 59 seconds left in the period when he made a good move past Kings cross Rasmus Kupari and landed a shot under Quick’s pads.
It was the 14th of the season for Duchene, but the first since Nov. 27 against Colorado.
Luff, who played three seasons for the Kings, scored his first goal of the year at 2:49 of the second period when he struck in his own rebound after Quick made a save on his first shot.
âI had a rough few years there and getting one is huge,â Luff said.
Brown, who was playing his first game since Dec. 19, put the Kings on the board at 9:37 of the second on a breakaway after Alexander Carrier of Nashville sniffed a shot in the LA zone.
Frk made it 3-2 with a power play goal 10:33 of the third. The right winger was making his NHL debut after placing second in the American Hockey League in goals and assists.
Trenin put Nashville out of reach on a goal into an empty net with 1:11 to go.
Nashville improved to 14-2-6 and won nine of its last 10 against Los Angeles. The Predators are 7-1-3 in their last 11 visits to crypto.com Arena.
MOVIN ‘ON UP
Brown’s goal was the 321st of his career, overtaking Bobby Carpenter for 20th place among US-born players. Brown also played his 1,263rd game in the NHL, tying Bill Guerin for eighth among American players.
The Kings got their second penalty shot in the last three games, but Adrian Kempe couldn’t get it in the net. Saros made a good save with his blocker to keep Nashville’s lead to three goals at 5:06 of the second period.
Considering Cam Atkinson’s stoppage by Quick last Saturday against Philadelphia, this was the Kings’ third straight game with a penalty shot. The last team to equal was Montreal in April 2009.
Predators: End their road trip against the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
Kings: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
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