Kings snap 4-game skid, beating Predators 4-2 going into All-Star break


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alex Turcotte had his first NHL goal and assist and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 on Wednesday night to snap a four-game skid in the final game for both teams before the NHL All-Star break.

Playing his second NHL game of the season and 14th overall, Turcotte — the fifth overall pick in 2019 — made it 2-0 in the second period and had an assist on Trevor Lewis’ goal with 6:39 left. Turcotte said the goal was so exciting he kind of “blacked out” for a bit.

“Just a big relief. It was all Mooresey,” Turcotte said about Trevor Moore’s assist. “He made a great play through the neutral zone, and I just kind of found the opening. It got to me and just ripped it. I was fortunate for it to go in. It was awesome.”

It was just the third win in 17 games for Los Angeles, and coach Todd McLellan, whose job security has been questioned, noted his Kings haven’t quit.

“We still have a long way to go get our game back, but to go into the break feeling a little bit good about ourselves is a real good thing,” McLellan said.

Dave Rittich, who played 17 games for Nashville in the 2021-22 season, made 38 saves to improve to 5-1-3 this season.

Carl Grundstrom also scored and Kevin Fiala added an empty-netter.

Filip Forsberg tried to rally Nashville with his 24th goal of the season at 5:15 of the third. Philip Tomasino scored his seventh with 3:24 to go, pulling the Preds to 3-2. Nashville snapped a six-game home points streak against the Kings.

Nashville didn’t seem to be the team for Los Angeles to beat with the Predators taking the first game in Los Angeles on Jan. 18. Nashville had won 12 of 15 between the teams, losing only three times in regulation in the last 27 games going 17-3-7 coming in.

The Kings gave themselves some breathing room with two crucial points after coming in holding the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, tied with St. Louis and Nashville with 54 points. Nashville has lost three straight (0-2-1), and the Predators didn’t help themselves going 0-4 on the man advantage.

Nashville coach Andrew Brunette thinks the Predators are close after playing six of their last eight on the road and just need to keep knocking on the door.

“We’re really kicking the crap out of it,” Brunette said. “It just hasn’t opened.”

Grunderson put the Kings up with his eighth goal this season, a wrister over Juuse Saros’ glove into the far corner at 8:51 of the first period.

Then Turcotte scored at 5:36 on a wrister as he skated through the left circle and put the puck over Saros’ glove putting the Kings up 2-0. Trevor Lewis broke away from the celebration quickly to grab the puck for Turcotte.

“To see how happy they were was obviously really special too,” Turcotte said. “It’s just really cool. I’ll never forget it and it’s something I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life.

The Predators thought they answered quickly with Tyson Barrie scoring his second goal of the season in his 800th NHL game. But the Kings challenged for goaltender interference and won, wiping the goal off the board.

UP NEXT

Kings: Host Edmonton on Feb. 10.

Predators: Host Arizona on Feb. 10.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



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