Preds on the hunt for 4th straight win as they host Kings
(Sports Network) - The surging Nashville Predators will shoot for a fourth straight victory when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Thursday's battle at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators began this season with a disappointing 1-2-3 record, but the club has since posted wins over Los Angeles, San Jose and St. Louis -- a trio of playoff teams in 2011-12.
The winning streak began with a 2-1 shootout win in L.A. last Thursday. Sergei Kostitsyn scored in the eighth round of the shootout to lift the Predators to the win over the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
Despite last week's loss to the Preds, Los Angeles still has seven wins in the last 10 meetings between these clubs overall. The Kings have won four of the past five matchups in Music City.
After following up the win over the Kings with a 2-1 shootout win in San Jose, the Predators exploded for a 6-1 triumph Tuesday evening in St. Louis. The blowout victory helped Nashville post a 4-2-1 record on its franchise record- tying seven-game road trip.
Martin Erat had a goal and two assists and Colin Wilson added three helpers in the rout of the Blues.
Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist while Kevin Klein, Nick Spaling, Rich Clune and Gabriel Bourque all scored for the Predators. Pekka Rinne turned aside 31 shots in the win.
"That was huge for our team because I think a lot of guys on our team were squeezing the stick too tight," said Clune. "It was good to get all the guys out there contributing and this was a solid effort from everyone."
Beginning with Thursday's game, the Predators are playing five of their next six tests at home, where the club is 0-0-2 on the season.
The Kings halted a two-game skid and improved to 3-1-1 over their last five games with Tuesday's 4-2 victory in Columbus. Mike Richards had a goal and an assist, while Justin Williams added three helpers to lift L.A. to a win on the second stop of five-game road trip.
Richards posted his first goal of the season and Williams brought his season point total up from two points to five.
"It's good to see (Williams) score points," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's good to see (Richards) score. Hopefully that's a step for them."
Anze Kopitar, Slava Voynov and Jeff Carter each added a goal for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in the win.
The Kings, who will visit Nashville, Detroit and St. Louis to complete this swing, are 2-2-1 as the road team this season.
02/07 10:43:24 ET