By Ron Wynn
Everyone on the Nashville side looked relieved Thursday night when Sergei Kostitsyn’s wrist shot eluded LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, giving the Predators a 2-1 shootout win over the defending Stanley Cup champions in Los Angeles. It was Nashville’s first win this season in a shootout, and it evened their record on the tough, seven-game, 15-day road trip at 2-2-1.
The Predators got the win despite getting only 14 shots on goal through regulation and overtime and scoring only one time before the shootout. They are averaging just 1.67 goals per game this season. But they are 2-2-3 overall, and feeling much better, especially since this time they weren’t the team having to battle back from behind.
They scored early, with less than a minute gone in the game. Brandon Yip’s shot after the Predators won the face off from the right circle beat Jonathan Quick. But when the Kings scored the equalizer, defenses took over and there was no scoring in either the second or third period, nor overtime. LA tied things with a four-on-three advantage at 13:08. It was Dustin Brown, who scored the goal.
The shootout went eight rounds. The Kings had Mike Richards, Brown and Anze Kopitar scoring, while the Predators got goals from David Legwand, Craig Smith and Gabriel Bourque as well as the game winner.
“We’re not getting that goal out of players we need to score,” LA coach Darryl Sutter told the Associated Press. “It comes down to details.”
“I think we would have been a bit mentally scarred if we lost that one,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said, relieved that the team hadn’t been the victims of another shootout loss.
The Predators’ trip continues with a visit to league-leading San Jose Saturday, then ends with another visit to St. Louis Tuesday. The Blues already own two wins over the Predators this season.