Frozen Royalty Audio And NHL Video: Ryan Smyth Lifts LA Kings To 4-1 Win Over Nashville In Milestone Game
November 7, 2010 2 Comments
LOS ANGELES — Don’t look now Southern California, but even though the weather here has turned cool once again, the Los Angeles Kings are still smoking hot, and there is no sign of a cooling trend on the horizon.
Indeed, the Kings went into action on November 6 as the best team, not just in their own division or conference, but they sat alone atop the National Hockey League standings.
Hours later, after a decisive 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 at Staples Center, the Kings are still at the top of the heap, with a 10-3-0 record, good for twenty points in the standings.
The Kings are also undefeated within the friendly confines of Staples Center so far this season, with a 6-0-0 record.
The Kings started their drubbing of the Predators, a team that has given them fits in recent season, when center Anze Kopitar ripped a wrist shot off the rush from just above and to the inside of the left face-off dot, beating Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the top right corner of the net at 4:11 of the first period.
Right wing Dustin Brown gave the Kings a 2-0 lead at the 13:00 mark on another wrist shot off the rush, this time, from the right circle, that appeared to be deflected at the shot’s origin by Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien.
Left wing Ryan Smyth, who reached an official NHL milestone on this night, playing in his 1,000 NHL regular season game, scored on a backhand off a rebound from just outside right crease at 6:47 of the second period.
Four minutes later, center Jarret Stoll scored, also picking up a rebound, this time, below the left circle. He backhanded the puck over Rinne’s right shoulder to give the Kings a 4-0 lead, knocking Rinne out of the game in the process.
Anders Lindback replaced Rinne immediately after Stoll’s goal, and did not give up a goal the rest of the way.
O’Brien was all alone at the left face-off dot when he blasted a slap shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier at 17:36 of the third period to close out the scoring.
Rinne, who allowed four goals on 22 shots, was tagged with the loss. Lindback, who played almost half the game in a relief role, made nine saves.
Bernier, who has struggled a bit in his three previous starts, was solid in goal for the Kings while stopping 25 shots.
Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell suffered an undisclosed upper body injury, which is believed to be an arm injury. He played two shifts early in the second period and did not return after that.
- The Kings have won four straight games and six of their last seven.
- The Kings’ ten wins after 13 games ties a franchise record. The 1980-81 team, also had ten wins in their first 13 games.
- The Kings’ twenty points after 13 games is tied for the second most in franchise history. The 1974-75 club was 8-1-4, good for twenty points.
- The most points after 13 games in franchise history is 21. The 1980-81 team went 10-2-1 for 21 points after 13 games.
- The Kings franchise record for a home winning streak to start a season is seven (1980-81 and 1975-76).
- Smyth became the 257th NHL player to play in 1,000 regular season games. He is the 17th player to play his 1,000th game in a Kings uniform.
- The line of Smyth, Stoll and Justin Williams scored two goals and tallied two assists for four points in the game. They have combined for 14 goals and twenty assists for 34 points in the last eleven games.
- With two assists in the game, Williams extended his point streak to seven games (four goals and five assists for nine points. His career high point streak is nine games (November 15 – December 2, 2005).
- Williams also has 13 points in the last eleven games on five goals and eight assists.
- Stoll has twelve points in the last eleven games on five goals and seven assists.
- Smyth has nine points in the last eleven games four goals and five assists.
- Nashville’s goal in the third period broke a Kings’ scoreless streak of 146:58, dating back to second period of their game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30.
- The Kings were 2-7-1 in their previous ten games against the Predators. The last time the Kings defeated the Predators at Staples Center was on October 23, 2007, a 6-0 win.
- With a goal and two assists in the game, Kopitar has eleven points in the last twelve games (four goals and seven assists).
- The Kings remain the only NHL team not to have allowed a power play goal at home. They were 3/3 on the penalty-kill in this game, and are 21/21 at home this season.
- The Kings have outscored their opponents 26-18 in five-on-five situations so far this season.
- The Kings have sold out five of their six home games so far this season.
- The Kings came out for pre-game warm-ups wearing mullet wigs, in honor of Smyth, who wore a mullet early in his NHL career. They also wore the wigs at their morning skate prior to the game.
For a Nashville perspective on this contest, check out Buddy Oakes from Preds On The Glass.
Audio Interviews (edited to remove extraneous material and dead air):
Ryan Smyth (3:50)
Jonathan Bernier (2:45)
Terry Murray (11:50)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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