Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 15 vs. Nashville
November 8, 2011
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
It’s no rest for the Los Angeles Kings as they’re back on the ice tonight to host the Nashville Predators at Staples Center.
As it was mentioned over the weekend, head coach Terry Murray will start Jonathan Bernier tonight, which will be just his third game of the season. Bernier’s numbers thus far are nothing to write home about with an 0-2 record to go along with a 3.56 GAA and an .857 save-percentage. So, Bernier will get a chance to redeem himself tonight. After all, in his last start against New Jersey, he did play well and make some key saves before the Devils started scoring. We’ll see how the netminder fares tonight.
Tonight will be the first of four meetings between the two clubs and the only meeting until February 27 when the Kings and Preds are scheduled to meet again. Last season, Los Angeles won the season series 3-1-0 and, despite his last two outings against the Kings last season, Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne was the Achilles heel, if you will, against Los Angeles. It’s unknown whether or not he will start given that the Predators play tomorrow night as well so we’ll have to see who starts in goal for the road team tonight.
With 16 points, the Predators, winners of their last outings, sits one point ahead of Los Angeles in the standings, boasting a 7-4-2 record. With that, the Kings will have to find a way to contain both David Legwand and Craig Smith, who lead their team in points with 14 and 10, respectively. The Kings will also have to deal with defensemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber, not to mention Patric Hornqvist and Colin Wilson, who both played especially well against the Kings last season.
Both head coaches tonight (Terry Murray and Barry Trotz) will be coaching in their 998th NHL games tonight and both will reach will reach the coveted 1,000-game mark this coming Saturday.
As far as tonight goes, let’s hope the Kings can take last night’s early and late efforts and extend it to a near sixty minutes if not the full time. Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of AP/Mark Humphrey