On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators traveled to the San Jose Sharks for a late night, Western Conference showdown.
The Preds were able to get 35 shots on net, but Antti Niemi stood tall as the Sharks shut out Nashville by a score of 2-0.
Both San Jose goals were PPGs, one at 16:41 of the 2nd period by Tomas Hertl (11) and the other was an EN-PPG at 19:01 by Tommy Wingels (14).
The Preds will look to rebound, as they stay in California to take on the Los Angeles Kings.
In their last outing, the Los Angeles Kings dominated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-0. LA was able to get scores from Tyler Toffoli (1st- 16:41 PPG), Justin Williams (2nd-03:59), Anze Kopitar (3rd-00:25), and Marian Gaborik (3rd-15:36 EN).
Keys to Watch
All dried up.
The Nashville Predators offense, as of late, has become stagnant. In the last five games, Nashville has seven goals. Far from the amount of goals the Preds were scoring earlier in the year. Coach Peter Laviolette is going to have to figure a way to ignite the offense, or Nashville will have an early exit from the playoffs. Defensively, the team has started playing much better, but Pekka Rinne is not getting much help from the offense. Whether it’s lineup changes, benching certain players, or whatever the case, things must change.
Kings: Heating Up
The Los Angeles Kings know how to turn up the heat when the playoffs are getting near. Every year, it seems as though they are able to build momentum and make a run toward The Stanley Cup. This year has been no different. Winners of four out of five, the Kings are right on the cusp of being one of the playoff teams, and this streak has put them in 8th place in the Western Conference. This is a very dangerous team that no one wants to play right now, and definitely don’t want in the 1st round of the playoffs.
5/5 vs PK
One interesting statistic on the Nashville Predators season is the varying differences between the Preds at even-strength vs when they are on the PK. 5 on 5, Nashville is 2nd in the NHL with a ratio of 5/5 For/Against of 1.31. The Nashville PK is a different story. Ranked 17th in the NHL, the Preds PK is at 81.1. With both goals on Thursday’s matchup against San Jose happening on the PK, there’s one solution, STAY OUT OF THE BOX!
The Nashville Predators will look to bounce back after a tough loss on Thursday night. A tough opponent in the Kings will be a telling sign of the trajectory of this team moving forward. This will be another late start of 9:00 pm CST. FOX Sports Tennessee will carry the game and you can listen live in 102.5 The Game. Don’t miss a second of Preds action!