Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 15 vs. Nashville
November 2, 2013
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
After a resilient effort versus San Jose last game, the Los Angeles Kings wrapped up their October in the best possible way: defeating the league’s best in overtime on home ice. The silver-and-black now hope to start their November the same way they finished October as they square off with the Nashville Predators for the second time this season.
They saw him back on October 15 and now Kings fans will get to see Seth Jones for the first time this season as the Preds enter Staples Center on Saturday with every intention of avenging their 2-1 shootout loss to the Kings two weeks ago.
Nashville is currently 6-5-2 and are coming off a 5-4 shootout loss in Phoenix on Thursday night.
In between the pipes, the Kings won’t be seeing the usual Pekka Rinne who is sidelined for the next month with an injury. Instead, they will (most likely) be up against Carter Hutton who, after playing for Chicago in their regular-season finale last year, enters his first full NHL season – and there is a ton of pressure given the longevity of Rinne’s injury. But as the Kings should know, opposing goaltending is one department the silver-and-black cannot afford to take lightly with the recent dominance of Edmonton’s Richard Bachman and Phoenix’s Mike Smith earlier in the week. Plus, in terms of goals-against so far, the Preds sit in just about the middle of the pack (14th overall) allowing 2.69 goals per.
Nashville’s offense on the other hand could use a boost as their 2.08 goals per game have them currently tied with Florida for 26th overall.
Up front, the Preds are led in points by veteran David Legwand with 10 with Patric Hornqvist (who has had his share of success against the Kings) leds his team in goals with a grand total of four.
As shoddy as their numbers look on paper, the Predators are able to turn it up a notch when they have to so don’t count them just yet as they could really make things difficult for the Kings on Saturday if they want to.
For the Kings, Anze Kopitar is coming off a two-point night versus San Jose where he blasted his overtime-winner past Antti Niemi for just his second goal of the year. Drew Doughty is also on a bit of a hot streak, especially last game as he, along with Justin Williams, notched a goal and an assist. Mike Richards also helped out last game with a pair of assists while Jeff Carter, although he’s been quiet as of late, always has that ability to break out and make some noise offensively.
If the Kings can stay out of the box and if a few more bodies on the back end can pick it up defensively, it should result in a win for the home team. Bringing that methodology to the ice is another matter.
We’ll see if the Kings can bring their A-game and leave Staples Center with a second-straight win.
Enjoy the game!