Preds sneak past Kings in lengthy SO

Nashville, TN ( – James Neal netted the lone goal in the
shootout, as Nashville outlasted Los Angeles, 4-3, at Bridgestone Arena.

None of the first 10 shooters were able to put the puck into the net. Neal
opened up the sixth round by beating Martin Jones between the pads, and
then Pekka Rinne closed off the lane along the ice to deny Dwight King’s
chance and end the contest.

Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis and Eric Nystrom tallied in regulation for the
Predators, who have won two in a row and seven of their last nine. Rinne ended
up with 18 saves.

Jamie McBain, Marian Gaborik and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who have
lost both contests in a three-game road trip which ends on Wednesday in
Minnesota. Jones made 30 stops in helping the visitors gain a point.

The hosts opened the scoring as Smith was sprung up the right wing on a lead
pass from Colin Wilson, and the former made no mistake on a snap shot from
between the circles at 6:24.

McBain’s tip in of a Justin Williams offering bled through Rinne’s pads with
8:28 to play in the first, then the Kings went ahead by one after 61 seconds
elapsed in the second period as Gaborik outraced a Preds defender and lifted a
shot over Rinne’s glove.

Nashville drew even on a drive from the bottom of the right circle from Ellis
with 2:24 remaining before the second intermission, then took a 3-2 lead on
Nystrom’s tip of a Taylor Beck shot 52 seconds later.

Doughty’s rush from end to end culminating in a low shot from between the
circles and among three Nashville checkers forged a 3-3 deadlock 38 seconds
into the third.

Filip Forsberg beat Jones but hit the right post with just over two minutes
played in overtime, and a Neal shot trickled just to the left of the near post
on the following shift. Despite numerous scoring chances, the hosts couldn’t
end the game on a power play in the final 1:32 of the extra session.

Game Notes

By virtue of winning shootouts in back-to-back games, the Predators improved
to 3-1 this season in the game’s final segment … The Kings fell to 1-3 …
Entering play, Jones did not allow a goal on 12 opponent chances in the