Kings 2, Predators 0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Jozef Stumpel scored on the Los Angeles Kings’ first power play and added an assist as the Kings beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 Saturday night in the teams’ opener.
Stumpel scored on a wrist shot from the right circle at 4:10 of the first period, the Kings’ second shot on goal, on an assist from Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake. With the goal, Stumpel matched his power-play production of last season.
The Kings, playing their first seven games on the road until the Staples Center opens, added an insurance goal at 12:11 of the third when Stumpel found Robitaille breaking into the right post with a cross-ice pass for a 2-0 lead.
With the victory, the revamped Kings changed their luck against the Predators. Nashville won the series 3-1 last season as an expansion franchise, and the Kings’ only victory didn’t come until the final week of the season.
But new coach Andy Murray had the Kings focused on the opener, and Los Angeles looked energized by the offseason additions of players like right wing Ziggy Palffy and the return of defenseman Aki Berg. The Kings outshot Nashville 34-27.
Goaltender Stephane Fiset recorded his 16th career shutout. Fiset stopped Tom Fitzgerald on a two-on-one and later stacked the pads in stopping Kimmo Timonen in the first period. He also made big saves on Richard Lintner and Patrick Cote in the third.
Nashville looked sluggish despite a sellout crowd and celebrity cheerleaders Garth Brooks and Pam Tillis. The Predators, who had 63 points in their inaugural season, had trouble moving the puck into the offensive zone and wound up shut out for their second straight opener.
Sergei Krivokrasov, the leading goal scorer last year, missed an open net in the opening minutes of the second period.