The Nashville Predators were in town and, as usual, they seemed to get the upper hand on the Los Angeles Kings. But first: CONGRATULATIONS ALEX IAFALLO !!!!!! It took 14 games and a remarkable play from Anze Kopitar, but the 23-year-old rookie from Rochester, NY finally broke through with his first ever NHL goal.
After getting robbed by several goaltenders, Iafallo took the smart approach, thanks to Kopitar:— Jewels from the (@JFTC_Kings) November 5, 2017
making sure the goaltender was not there. pic.twitter.com/OY1KDmCysM
Of Kings playing tonight, only Andreoff, Laich & Forbort have yet to score this year...time to get somebody else off the schneid! #GoKingsGo— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 5, 2017
OK so the first 40 minutes weren’t super great. They weren’t super bad, they just weren’t that awesome. The Predators have been struggling to score goals this season, have the sixth worst PDO (a statistical way of measuring a team’s “luck” if you will, calculated using the sum of a team's shooting percentage and its save percentage) and the fourth worst 5v5 shooting percentage in the NHL. The Kings, on the other hand, have the 11th highest shooting percentage and sixth highest PDO. LA was probably due to regress while Nashville was due for a few bounces their way, which they got in the first period.
It was Legends Night and the teams on the ice decided to pay tribute to Tiger Williams with two separate fights. First Andy Andreoff decided to fight Austin Watson and then, minutes later, Kurtis MacDermid fought Cody McLeod, who was pissed about a heavy (legal) hit on Calle Jarnkrok.
Despite five shots on two early power plays, the Kings somehow couldn’t beat Juuse Saros, Goalie of the Future in the Music City. Then Christian Folin blew a tire in the exact same spot that Jake Gardiner did two days ago and the opportunistic Preds took advantage of the ugly turnover. Yannick Weber hit Miikka Salomaki with a looooong lob pass and no one else was even close. Darcy Kuemper went for the poke check, missed, and as Jim Fox says, when that happens, it usually ends up in the back of the net.
P.K. Subban doubled the lead when a fortunate bounce took a bad turn for LA as the puck bounced through two sets of legs and over Kuemper’s left pad. Despite being outshot 11-3, Nashville was winning 2-0. Hockey. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In the second period, Craig Smith added to the lead with a beautiful set play in which Anton Forsberg dished the puck through Drew Doughty’s legs to Smith who easily roofed it over Kuemper.
After 40 minutes, it wasn’t looking good for the Kings. But then beautiful, beautiful Alex Iafallo scored 16 seconds in.
That really fired up the guys in black and they completely outworked their visitors over the course of the next 13 minutes. Folin started to dump the puck in from the red line and caught Saros cheating. Saros had already left his crease in anticipation of retrieving the puck and blanked or something, allowing Folin to net his first goal of the season from the red line.
Alex Faust’s reaction just says it all. Hashtag we are all Alex Faust.
By the way, Folin has just crossed the five-minutes played mark...very efficient use of his time— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 5, 2017
Suddenly there was blood in the water. The Kings were pressing hard for the equalizer with just over seven minutes to go, they finally got it. With the home team buzzing around the net, they’d almost scored the third goal when Subban was forced to hook Kopitar. Even though that temporarily prevented a goal, Alec Martinez’s shot on the power play hit a defender and deflected into the net for a tie game.
It was a nervous last seven minutes with the Preds trying very hard to win this in regulation but to overtime it went. There were a couple of glorious chances for LA but Saros was up to the task. Then, Viktor Arvidsson picked up the puck on a breakaway and scored up high. (Have you sensed a pattern yet?)
This is pretty typical. The Predators come to LA and usually end up picking up at least a point. Prior to this game Kuemper was 3-0 against them. What is it about Nashville that they seem to have LA’s number, no matter who’s playing? (If you’ll recall, Jonathan Bernier also was better than Jonathan Quick. Mystifying, really.)
It wasn’t the most ideal outcome, but after looking like it was going to be zero points, one point doesn’t feel so bad.