LOS ANGELES – In a physical battle, the Los Angeles Kings found the wrong end of the scoreboard against the Nashville Predators falling 4-3 in regulation.
To the dismay of the home crowd, the lamp lit for the Predators twice before the Kings got on the board. First, came from the stick of David Legwand, who snapped a shot past Jonathan Quick, who was well screened. Second goal came from Shea Weber. A great forecheck lead to an open shot that hit the pad of Quick and quickly found the stick of Weber who put the puck home just prior to the end of the first period.
Before the buzzer rang to alert the end of the first period, Anze Kopitar found the back of the net too. Almost indentical to Weber’s goal just seconds before, a good forecheck lead to a great opportunity from Jake Muzzin who hit the pad of Carter Hutton, and then finding the stick of Kopitar who sealed the deal, cutting the lead in half.
Eric Nystrom was the loan man to score in the second frame. Patrick Hornqvist got his assist hat trick with a great pass through traffic from behind the net that hit the open Nystrom in the slot, who wristed the puck past Quick for an easy goal.
The third period was filled with excitement, and sudden dispair. Dustin Brown scored just before the halfway mark using strength to and around the net. Just over a minute later, Mike Richards tied the game on a powerplay with a strong effort in front of the net.
With just less than four minutes left, David Legwand got his second goal of the night, and the eventual game winner for the Predators. Typical faceoff win gave Matthias Ekholm an easy shot from the blue line that rebounded to Legwand who put it home.
One of the big stories was Rich Clune coming back to his former team, and he made his name well known on the ice. Clune was a fan favorite due to his off-ice attitude towards demons of his past. On the ice tonight, he took the role of agitator and took on the Kings role of agitator with Daniel Carcillo. Clune got a combined 17 minutes in penalties in the first, including a ten minute misconduct and two minute minor for instigating a fight with Carcillo.
Final score from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California:
Predators, 4 Kings, 3
Three Stars of the Game:
1. David Legwand, NSH (2 G, +1)
2. Anze Kopitar, LAK (G, A, +1)
3. Patric Hornqvist, NSH (3 A, +2)
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