Yesterday’s running diary worked out so good that we’re back in the Media Guy Man Cave. Once again, I’m joined here by Alex Faust and Jim Fox on the FSW telecast from Music City. The menu includes pan-fried catfish, some hushpuppies, a pan of cornbread, some fried pickles, and some Belle Meade bourbon. If I lived in Nashville I would weigh 275, for sure.
The future is back and Alex and Jim are super hyped about Cal Petersen and the prospect of him playing back-to-back games. There’s little concern about him because he played 90 consecutive games for Notre Dame. Good to know.
Dion Phaneuf, playing in his 1000th game, was drafted here in 2003, so naturally he is comfortable in Smashville and he’s also the 326th player to reach this milestone.
Now the bad news. The Kings are playing the best team in the Western Conference and they love playing against rookie goalies. However, the Preds are dealing with injuries too as Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban are out tonight. Also good things to know.
We’re also told that Filip Forsberg has 12 goals and 18 points and the Kings need to shut him down. On the flip side, it takes three Kings to top that total because Ilya Kovalchuk, Tyler Toffoli, and Jeff Carter combined to reach 14 goals. This could be quite a challenge tonight.
4:45 – Mike Amadio blocks a shot with his stick. That a 100% improvement over last night. He looks like a guy who doesn’t want to be sent back to Ontario.
6:57 – Patrick O’Neal let’s us know that Nashville was voted the hardest building to play in because of the noise (and the vicious goalie heckling…he left that out).
12:00 – Petersen flicks a quality Forsberg chance away and then the rebound. We ‘re starting to believe that the future IS here. Maybe. Kinda. Sorta.
12:27 – Shocker! Alex Iafallo drives to the net and draws a penalty. What a great time this would be to score first. But, only 14% on the power play this season. Yikes.
14:27 – Good news is that the Corsi lovers will love the puck possessions and chances on that power play. A couple of scoring chances, but nothing to show for it. Hope remains strong.
16:45 – Hip check by Adrian Kempe? Yessir. The future is here!
17:02 – Drew. Penalty. Looked bad. We still love you.
19:58 – Petersen and Kings survive three point blank chances before the buzzer.
End of Period.
If you’re a Kings fan, you’re saying that these guys look pretty good again. Fast-paced, smart hockey. If you’re Nashville, you’re wondering if this Kings team really has only 13 points on the season.
Shots – Preds 15. Kings 12.
Jim opens the analysis by saying Cal Petersen’s technique and big body play forces the perfect shot.
1:27 – Lazy Derek Forbort penalty. At least it was in the defensive zone.
3:18 – Perfect power play by Nashville ends in a great Kyle Turris goal. 1-0 Preds. We are warned that the Predators are undefeated when scoring first.
3:50 – Kings back on the power play, but they are 0 for 20 on the road with the man advantage. They’re due, right?
5:55 – Just like that, Nate Thompson channels the Media Guy and breaks the drought. It’s not a power play goal, but it feels like one. Kings 1. Preds 1.
6:14 – Who is this team? Anze Kopitar pots one off a Dustin Brown takeaway! It’s like it’s last season all of the sudden. Kings 2. Preds 1.
7:43 – Dion celebrates game 1,000 with a light dance/scrap with Ryan Hartman.
8:05 – Too much time, too much space. Calle Jarnkrok beats Petersen glove side and ties it up at two. Kids, don’t put your Derek Forbort rookie cards in the safe deposit box just yet. He’s having an Amadio-type of night.
10:15 – Iafallo remembers that good things happen when you drive to the middle. He picks up the Kopitar rebound and scores. Kopitar with two points now. Kings 3. Preds 2.
13:17 – Matt Luff denied by Pekka Rinne. The way the Kings are playing, that might have put them on rails to win this sucker. How open can you get really? The rookie couldn’t convert though. My resting heart rate is around 121 about now.
16:10 – Forbort dangerously trips up Jarnkrok and they fly into the far-side boards. He’s lucky that was a no call. Luckier that he didn’t maim Jarnkrok.
End of Period.
What a period! Five goals. Three by the Kings who look very good through forty. Can they keep it rolling through sixty?
Shots – Preds 26. Kings 21.
Jim wants the Kings to seize the moment when it presents itself this period and take control. Twenty minutes to a win if they can.
2:32 – Jim gushes over Petersen’s footwork then reminds us that he’s not trying to make him an all-star in his third NHL game.
4:44 – Kings don’t have a shot on goal this period. Have they hit the wall?
5:17 – Another Forbort penalty. Jim tries to rationalize that at least he was trying to defend a would-be goal. This is where I remind the kids to heed my earlier rookie card investment warning. As I look at how the Predators have taken over this game (SOG now 33-22), I don’t have a good feeling about this penalty kill.
5:44 – Boom. Just like that Jarnkrok beats Petersen over the glove again. Petersen should see the equipment manager about that hole in his glove. Preds 3. Kings. 3.
6:50 – Shots this period? Preds 10. Kings 1. Maybe Willie D. needs to use his timeout. No, seriously. Use the timeout before this gets out of hand.
9:05 – Petersen stuffs Colton Sissons on the breakaway and the Kings get a much needed TV timeout.
9:24 – Just what the Kings didn’t need: a penalty. Tripping by Jake Muzzin. Preds are two out of three on the power play tonight. No bueno.
11;06 – Great pass by Tyler Toffoli frees up Jeff Carter who draws the penalty. 4-on-4 for 18 seconds and then the Kings can break that road power play drought. Can you feel the magic? Yeah, me neither.
11:54 – Uh oh. Petersen looking more like Martin Jones with his poor glove work as Jarnkrok again scores over Cal’s catcher. This time it’s a shorty. Here come the hats. Preds. 4. Kings 3. Wow, that escalated quickly.
“All your fault. All your fault…” The Predator fans start their Cal Petersen serenade. They’ve been waiting all night for this. Luckily there’s only seven minutes and change left to listen to this...
Willie D. sends out a power play unit with one D (Phaneuf) and four forwards (Carter, Toffoli, Kempe, and Thompson), but Jim is already talking moral victories. My inner King angst has come fully to the front. This may not end well.
12:20 – That new power play unit gives up another shorthanded Preds breakaway. How is not 7-3 at this point? Petersen is great again down low that’s why.
18:00 – Do the Kings have a late answer? We are on Petersen empty net watch now.
19:00 – There’s a battle in the corner behind the Predator net. I’m actually yelling at the television as Dan Hamhuis bear hugs Carter for 5-6 seconds. Why don’t the Kings ever get those obvious calls? It befuddles me since it leads to…
19:02 – … the inevitable empty netter by Nick Bonino. Preds 5. Kings 3. That seals it.
End of game.
Moral victories abound, but the truth of back-to-back on the road with a rookie goalie in net don’t lie. I think the Kings should hire me to be the timeout whisperer.
Shots – Preds 43. Kings 28.
FORTY-FOUR WORD GAME RECAP
Calle Jarnkrok’s first career hat trick and a dominant Predators third period propels them over the Kings 5-3. Nashville looked to be headed to a fourth straight loss, but they finally solved Cal Petersen in the third as the Kings ran out of gas.
NEXT: The Kings visit the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
GAME NOTES: Stars of the Game: First – Jarnkrok, Second – Ryan Ellis, Third – Roman Josi… The Predators scored multiple power-play goals in a game for only the second time this season. The Kings fell to 6-12-1 this season (last in the NHL)… Nashville improved to 14-5-1 (tied for tops in the NHL)… Jarnkrok scored at even strength, on the power play and short-handed. Petersen made 38 saves... Rinne who was tested early finished with 25 saves… The Kings attempted 41 shots, while the Predators had 72 shot attempts…
CAL PETERSEN: “I think you kind of just have to try and remove yourself from the environment and not let it play too much of a factor. I think if you get caught up in the crowd and the fans and the things that are going on around you, I think that you don’t really have the mental capacity to be able to handle all that stuff. I mean I try to do my best at least to block those sort of things out, but it’s a good building … and they have a good team. But like I said, I feel like I play my best when I try to take that factor out of it.”
NATE THOMPSON: “”It’s nice to contribute, but at the same time it would be more nice to get some more wins.”
WILLIE DESJARDINS: “It comes down to the specialty teams. But I do believe we can be better in that, and I think we’ll get that part going, but that’s the part that’s hurting us right now. I thought [Petersen] was good, especially early. For a young guy, this is a tough building. I thought the group played well for 40. I just think we ran out of gas a little bit in the last one.”