Kings 1, Predators 2: Snoozefest ends in eighth round of shootout

Jeff Gross

The LA Kings dominated zone time, but didn't generate nearly enough scoring chances to show for it. Nashville mustered only 11 shots in regulation.

I like how Fox asked John Stevens the equivalent of "How are you keeping the team from falling asleep?" after these first two periods. - krispykleen

What would you rather have, this game or the lockout? This may or may not be a trick question. - WindyMan

Good news, insomniacs! If you're looking for a safe, all-natural sleep aid, all you need to do is watch a replay of this game.

Even an 8-round shootout couldn't make up for the dull, plodding, grinding contest that preceded it. The Nashville Predators jumped out to an early lead less than a minute into play, when Brandon Yip rifled a shot past Quick from the top circle. From then on it was all LA Kings, who spent the majority of the game in Nashville's zone getting their shots blocked.

The Kings' chances began looking up when they managed a power play goal during a four on three later in the first. Doughty's shot bounced off the glass and in front of the net, where Dustin Brown was waiting on the doorstep to sweep it in. The Kings kept pressing, and the Predators didn't record a shot in the final 16 minutes of the period.

But the pattern continued through the next two periods, and the score remained 1-1. Nashville blocked far more shots (24) than they managed to get off in the entire game (14). Yep. That was as thrilling as it sounds like.

After letting Nashville hang around, the game briefly came alive in OT. The Predators, fired up with hope, put Quick under more pressure than they managed to do in regulation -- but he kept them in it.

Shootout

Here's the full shootout list. It was pretty much the only high point of the game, unless you count Daryl Evans' suit.

Mike Richards and Dustin Brown scored the two prettiest goals, but it wasn't enough. Anze Kopitar inexplicably went 6th (what were Stoll and Doughty doing ahead of him on the list?) but his fine effort was followed by goals by Bourque and Kostitsyn, and the Predators ran off with two points. Quick didn't look comfortable out there, but it's hard to criticize that when LA's scorers let it get to a shootout in the first place.

The Kings may comfort themselves with the knowledge that they thoroughly dominated zone time in this game, but they shouldn't be satisfied. For all the time they spent in Nashville's end, they didn't generate nearly enough scoring chances to show for it.

To me, this goes beyond "not getting the bounces." They have plenty to work on, especially on the power play. Their Grade A opportunities need to go way up if they want to win games.

I hope they look back at this and get angry. I know I still am.

Questions:

1.What, if anything, can fix the power play?

2. Which Kings looked best and worst out there to you?

3. Finally, would you make any roster changes for the Ducks game on Saturday?

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