The Nashville Predators (24-9-3) came back to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night to take on division rival, the St. Louis Blues. At the end of the first period, the Preds were able to take a 1-0 lead when Shea Weber scored at 18:05. Weber wasn’t done for the night. He scored a SHG from Roman Josi at 9:02 and the Preds were able to get 2 points from St. Louis in a 3-2 win.
Today, the Preds will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Kings at the Staples Center. This will be an early start as the puck drops at 3:00 CST.
The Los Angeles Kings (19-12-8) played on New Year’s Day as they traveled to Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Kings struggled but, due to two late goals, they were able to get out of Rogers Arena with a win in regulation.
Going into the 3rd period, the Kings were down 2-1. Justin Williams was able to tie it up with a PPG at 17:53. In less than a minute, Jarret Stoll (4) buried the game winner.
In 2nd place of the Pacific Division, the Kings are being led in points by Jeff Carter with 28. Tyler Toffoli leads the team in goals with 12. Marian Gaborik is close behind Toffoli with 11 goals. Los Angeles is currently ranked 8th on the PP with 20.7%, and ranked 18th on the PK with 80.3%.
Keys to Watch
“Goose” vs Carter
One interesting matchup will be on the faceoff between Paul Gaustad and Jeff Carter. Gaustad is ranked 4th in the NHL with a FO% of 57.9%. Jeff Carter is not far behind Gaustad. Carter is ranked 13th with a FO% of 56.2. Keep an eye on this matchup in the faceoff circle.
Gaborik on the Powerplay
With 6 PPG on the season, Marian Gaborik is a force with the man advantage. Gaborik also has 2 assists on the PP. He is excellent on getting pucks to the net and one of the main targets for the LA Kings on the PP. He moves well with the puck and has the ability to get others involved. The Preds will have to keep tabs on Gaborik if they get a man advantage.
Captain Weber Heating Up!
Over the past few games, Shea Weber has been heating up for the Preds. On the season, Weber has played in all 36 games with 25 total points. He has 8 goals and 17 assists, which is 3rd on the team in total points (Forsberg-35, Ribeiro-30). Weber has two PP goals and eats up 26:30 TOI/G. In the last 5 games, the Preds Captain is averaging 1 point per game (2 goals, 3 assists). The Preds need the Sicamous, BC, CAN native to keep up his dominating performance as of late.
The Nashville Predators will have another back-to-back set of games (Saturday in LA, Sunday in Anaheim). The month of January will be a grueling test as they will have 3 back-to-back set of games and a total of 12 games in the month. Keep in mind the early time of this game as the puck drops at 3:00 pm CST. You will be able to catch this afternoon game on Sports South 2 (649-2 on DirecTV) or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.