NHL Hockey

Predators beat Kings 2-1, move back atop Central Division

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators know it's time to show they can be consistent period to period and game to game.

They're starting to get some results.

Captain Roman Josi had a goal and an assist as the Predators beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 Thursday night to move atop the Central Division with their third win in four games.

Josi said he thought they played a pretty complete game, something they talked about a lot.

"We talked about having some consistency and having a couple of good games in a row," Josi said. "I thought we played two good games, and now we've got to focus on the next one and do it again."

The Predators now have 77 points to edge ahead of Winnipeg (76), though the Jets have three games in hand on Nashville.

Kyle Turris scored for Nashville, which also swept the season series with Los Angeles.

"It's nice to win two in a row, and hopefully we can start making some noise and put some streak together," said Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who made 28 saves.

Michael Amadio scored for the Kings, who now are 0-4-2 in losing their sixth straight.

"I don't question anybody's work ethic, we're just not good enough right now," Kings forward Dustin Brown said.

The Kings not only are last in the Western Conference, they are 10 points out of the second wild card.

"It's an unbelievable opportunity for young players right now," Kings coach Willie Desjardins said. "If I'm a young guy, the only thing I want is a chance to play and guys are getting that chance now where they haven't got in the past."

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette mixed up his top two lines a bit looking to spread out the offense. He moved Viktor Arvidsson, who has 21 points in his past 25 games since returning from a broken thumb, to the second line with Turris and Calle Jarnkrok while moving Kevin Fiala to the top line with Filip Forsberg and center Ryan Johansen.

Turris scored the first goal, his first since returning from injury Feb. 7 and seventh of the season, on the power play where Nashville has struggled. His snap shot from the left circle beat Jonathan Quick at 8:50 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. Rinne kept the Kings scoreless 70 seconds later after a turnover behind the net, scrambling back to stop Trevor Lewis' shot from the slot.

Josi put Nashville up 2-0 with his 14th goal this season within the first minute of the second. Arvidsson, who did not take part in the morning skate, sent a backhanded pass to Josi, who went top shelf with his wrister from the left circle.

"I knew he was going to pass it," Josi said. "Obviously, he's a goal scorer, but he can be a great playmaker too. It was an unbelievable pass . just open up everything and I had a lot of space right there in the middle."

Amadio pulled Los Angeles within 2-1 scoring off a rebound at 9:24 of the third, and the Kings got the man advantage 25 seconds later when Turris went to the box for hooking Ilya Kovalchuk. But the Predators killed the penalty, keeping the Kings 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Johansen hit the post with five minutes left , missing an insurance goal for Nashville that Rinne wound up not needing.

NOTES: Josi now has 21 points in his last 19 games for Nashville. He also became the first defenseman in franchise history with four seasons with at least 50 points. ... Before the game, the Predators put forward Craig Smith on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled Taylor Gaudet from AHL Milwaukee. ... Nashville improved to 27-3-1 when scoring first and 16-1-1 when leading after the first period.


Kings: Visit Florida on Saturday.

Predators: Host Colorado on Saturday.


Follow AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/teresamwalker


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated February 21, 2019

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Teams Score Time
Appalachian State 34 F
North Carolina 31
Ball State 23 F
NC State 34
Carolina   4:05pm
Carolina 2 F
Washington 3
Teams Score Time
Boston College 30 F
Rutgers 16
California 28 F
Ole Miss 20
Elon 7 F
Wake Forest 49
LSU 66 F
Vanderbilt 38
Michigan 14 F
Wisconsin 35
Southern Mississippi 7 F
Alabama 49
Tennessee 3 F
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North Carolina 31
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Texas A&M 20
Louisville 24 F
Florida State 35
Miami (OH) 5 F
Ohio State 76
SMU 41 F
TCU 38
UCF 34 F
Pittsburgh 35
Washington 45 F
BYU 19
Central Michigan 12 F
Miami 17
Ball State 23 F
NC State 34
Old Dominion 17 F
Virginia 28
Oregon 21 F
Stanford 6
Charlotte 10 F
Clemson 52
Oklahoma State 30 F
Texas 36
Notre Dame 17 F
Georgia 23
Colorado 34 F
Arizona State 31
Washington State 63
Teams Score Time
Philadelphia 9 F
Cleveland 4
Philadelphia   6:37pm
American League
Toronto 2 F
New York 7
Boston 4 F
Tampa Bay 5
Chicago 5 F
Detroit 3
Seattle 7 F
Baltimore 6
Kansas City 12 F
Minnesota 5
Los Angeles 8 F
Houston 4
Texas 3 F
Oakland 12
Seattle   1:05pm
Toronto   1:05pm
New York  
Boston   1:10pm
Tampa Bay  
Chicago   1:10pm
Kansas City   2:10pm
Los Angeles   2:10pm
Texas   4:07pm
National League
St. Louis 9 F
Chicago 8
New York 2 F
Cincinnati 3
Washington 10 F
Miami 4
Pittsburgh 1 F
Milwaukee 10
San Francisco 1 F
Atlanta 8
Arizona 4 F
San Diego 2
Colorado 4 F
Los Angeles 2
New York   1:10pm
Washington   1:10pm
San Francisco   1:20pm
Pittsburgh   2:10pm
St. Louis   2:20pm
Arizona   4:10pm
San Diego  
Colorado   4:10pm
Los Angeles  
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Atlanta   1:00pm
Baltimore   1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   1:00pm
Denver   1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   1:00pm
Miami   1:00pm
New York   1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   1:00pm
Carolina   4:05pm
New York   4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   4:25pm
Pittsburgh   4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   8:20pm
Chicago   Mon 8:15pm
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh 1 F
Columbus 3
Colorado 3 F
Minnesota 4
Carolina 2 F
Washington 3
New York 3 F
New Jersey 4
New York 1 F
Philadelphia 4
Toronto 3 F
Buffalo 5
Montreal 4 F
Ottawa 0
Florida 6 F
Dallas 0
Tampa Bay 4 F/OT
Nashville 5
Vegas 3 F
San Jose 1
Boston 2 F/OT
Chicago 3
Anaheim 3 F/SO
Arizona 4
Vancouver 5 F
Los Angeles 7
Columbus   3:30pm
St. Louis  
Pittsburgh   5:00pm
Minnesota   7:00pm
Calgary   8:00pm
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 8
2 18 Kyle Busch 4
3 11 Denny Hamlin 6
4 2 Brad Keselowski 1
5 6 Ryan Newman 19
6 42 Kyle Larson 13
7 4 Kevin Harvick 2
8 14 Clint Bowyer 5
9 41 Daniel Suarez 14
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1 20 Christopher Bell 4
2 22 Austin Cindric 1
3 00 Cole Custer 12
4 7 Justin Allgaier 2
5 98 Chase Briscoe 5
6 18 Harrison Burton 6
7 9 Noah Gragson 8
8 8 Zane Smith 15
9 1 Michael Annett 10
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1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9