Pearson scores at 1:18 of OT as Kings beat Predators 2-1
TERESA M. WALKER
Feb. 21, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tanner Pearson helped the Los Angeles Kings salvage their seven-game road trip and head home winners.
Pearson scored 1:18 into overtime, and the Kings beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 Saturday night to wrap up this trip.
"We've been good in overtime all year," Pearson said. "It was just another hard-fought win and good finish to the road trip."
Jake Muzzin also scored for the Kings, and goalie Jonathan Quick made 33 saves. The Kings finished this road trip at 3-3-1 after going 0-2-1 in their previous three games. They also improved to 9-2 in overtime this season.
Ryan Ellis scored a power-play goal for Nashville, though the Predators went 1 of 6 with the man advantage. Nashville also fell to 1-10 during overtime this season. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves.
This was the eighth straight game between these teams decided by one goal, this time with Pearson bringing the puck into the zone, skating across and scoring on a snap shot from just inside the left circle for his eighth this season and the game-winner.
Los Angeles has taken the first two games of the three-game season series.
"Somebody had to score for us," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
The Kings played without Anze Kopitar, who missed his first game since leaving Thursday night's 2-1 overtime loss at St. Louis with a lower-body injury.
That left Los Angeles without both Kopitar and forward Marian Gaborik, who missed his fourth game with an injury.
The Predators have gotten at least a point in six of their past seven games, but they wrapped up a three-game home stand losing twice in overtime.
"The points are important," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's disappointing coming off a loss so anytime you leave an overtime loss or a shootout loss, it's difficult to be excited about the point. But we've got to keep collecting them. The guys played hard tonight and came out on the wrong side."
Asked if it's tough to believe how the Predators have struggled in overtime, Laviolette had a simple answer: "Yes."
Nashville outshot the Kings 12-4 in the first period, but Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead when Muzzin scored on a snap shot through traffic at 15:57. The Predators got their third man advantage of the period when the Kings had too many men on the ice.
Quick made a great diving save and got his left pad on another shot, but Ellis got his seventh off a tap-in with 26.6 seconds left tying it up at 1-1.
"We get to watch that on a pretty regular basis," Kings forward Milan Lucic said. "That's just Quick doing his thing. He came up big for us today to finish the road trip."
The Kings got their first power play at 15:27 of the second when Anthony Bitetto was called for roughing in retaliation for Kings forward Michael Mersch, called up from the AHL earlier Saturday, checked Predators defenseman Barret Jackman into the end boards.
Jackman, whose left arm went into the boards first, was on the ice in apparent pain for a few minutes before skating off and heading to the locker room. Laviolette said Jackman is being evaluated and Nashville will have an update Sunday.
Predators forward Craig Smith had a couple of great chances at the net in the third but couldn't convert. Rinne smothered a shot from Kings center Jeff Carter at 13:00 of the third after a Predators' turnover near the blue line.
Notes: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty played 32 minutes, 9 seconds after setting a career high with 35:16 on Thursday night. ... The Predators are 22-16-7 when outshooting their opponent. ... Nashville has played in 30 one-goal games (12-7-11). ... The Kings also scratched forward Jordan Nolan.