On Saturday afternoon, the Nashville Predators started a two-game road trip as they traveled to Los Angeles to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions, LA Kings. This would definitely not be a traditional Preds vs Kings matchup.

The Preds did not start out on the right foot as they gave up a quick goal to Matt Greene 00:32 in the 1st period. The team was resilient and was able to come back with three goals in the 1st from Mike Fisher, Colin Willson, and a PPG from Ryan Ellis. Jonathan Quick was pulled after 9:43 of the 1st for backup, Martin Jones, due to a lackluster outing.

The 2nd period was back-and-forth, in which the Preds led at one point, 5-1, with goals from LA’s Alec Martinez and Dwight King. The Preds got two from Mattias Ekholm and newly acquired, Mark Arcobello.

In the 3rd period, things got a little out of hand. At 8:38 of the 3rd period, the Preds tacked on another goal by Olli Jokinen and Nashville looked set to cruise for the win. Dwight King scored his 2nd goal of the contest and the Kings pulled goalie, Martin Jones.

The wheels came off for the Preds after that because they gave up 2 goals within 30 seconds of one another late in the 3rd to tie the game 6-6. The game was sent to OT and didn’t last long because Roman Josi stepped up and only took 18 seconds into the extra time to score the game winner.

The Nashville Predators will be traveling tonight to Anaheim to take on the NHL-leading, Anaheim Ducks.

The Anaheim Ducks (25-9-6) last played on Friday night against the St. Louis Blues. The game was back-and-forth with the Blues. The Ducks scored first with a PPG from Ryan Getzlaf (1st-6:29).

The 2nd period had 5 different goals starting with TJ Oshie (2nd-2:59). Anaheim’s Kyle Palmeri responded with a goal 5:20 and then Kevin Shattenkirk scored just 1:03 later to tie the game. Andrew Cogliano gave Anaheim the lead again at 10:11 of the 2nd and the scoring finished up with Alexander Steen’s PPG at 16:27.

The 3rd period had only one goal, the GWG from Matt Beleskey at 10:55. The Ducks came out victorious against the Blues 4-3 to gain their 25th win of the season.

On the season, Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in points with 43, 30 of which are assists. The Ducks are led in goals by Matt Beleskey with 16.

Keys to Watch

The (Two) Best of the West

With 56 points on the season, the Anaheim ducks are currently leading the league in points. The Nashville Predators are not far behind with 53 points. With the same amount of wins and Anaheim having a three game advantage on the Preds, tonight’s matchup could catapult the Preds to within 1 point of the top of the NHL. Either way, the Central Division leading Nashville Predators are among the league’s elite.

Rinne or Hutton?

A question Preds fans have been asking all day is about who will be in net tonight. Pekka Rinne has played in net A LOT this season. Carter Hutton has been in only 4 games. With a record of 0-3-1, it seems as though there isn’t a lot of trust for Hutton in net. With a great team like Anaheim, the defense will need to be ready to work tonight.

Mark Arcobello for Derek Roy

When the Preds traded Derek Roy for Mark Arcobello many questions were asked about this Milford, CT native. In 79 career games in the NHL, Arcobello has 12 goals, 19 assist, and 31 points. In his debut with Nashville last night against Los Angeles, Arcobello didn’t disappoint. In 12:37 TOI, he was able to get a goal and a plus/minus rating of +1. The question will be whether he will stay in Nashville or be sent to Milwaukee. Only time will tell…..

The Preds will take on one of their toughest tests in the 2014-15 season. The Ducks are at the top of the league for a reason and, if the Preds get a lead, they can’t let it slip away. The puck drops at 7:00 pm on FS-TENNESSEE or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.