LOS ANGELES — Jeff Carter scored three consecutive goals, recording a natural hat trick, to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on March 4.
The Kings got off to an uneven start to the game, giving up high-quality scoring chances early, and failing to record a shot on goal until the 15:02 mark of the first period. But Carter gave the Kings a 1-0 lead on the power play at 5:28 of the second period, when his attempted backhand pass fooled Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was playing the pass, and lost the puck between his legs.
Carter took advantage of poor defensive coverage for his second goal of the game at 4:39 of the third period, when he was left all alone in front of Rinne.
Just 19 seconds later, Carter scored on a breakaway after stealing the puck at center ice from Predators defenseman Roman Josi. Carter was in the clear from the blue line in, and he beat Rinne with a deke move, sliding the puck between his skates on the backhand.
Mike Richards followed with a power play goal at 7:40, and Dwight King added his first goal of the season at 10:54.
Gabriel Bourque scored the lone Predators goal at 13:05, but it as too little, too late.
Rinne allowed five goals on 13 shots on goal, and was credited with the loss. Chris Mason came on in relief at 10:54 of the third period, and made three saves.
Jonathan Bernier recorded his fifth straight win, making 18 saves.
- The Kings have now won six of their last seven games, outscoring opponents 24-12 during that span. They have also won eight of their last ten games, outscoring opponents 32-17.
- The Kings have now won five straight at home.
- Carter earned his fifth career hat trick (last one was on February 21, 2012 vs. San Jose, when he was with Columbus). He has now scored goals in six of the last seven games (eight goals in that span).
- Carter now has ten goals in the last ten games. He also scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season.
- Slava Voynov contributed three assists in this game, a career high. He also tied his career high in points.
- Bernier extended his career high winning streak to five games (1.00 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage in that span). He is now 7-1-0 lifetime vs. Nashville.
- With assists on Carter’s first goal, and on King’s goal, Jarret Stoll earned his first multi-point game since February 25, 2012 vs. Chicago.
- Richards has points in five of the last six games (goal and four assists for five points).
- With an assist on Richards’ goal, Dustin Penner has four points in the last five games (goal, three assists).
- King has five points in the last seven games (goal, four assists)
- The Kings have now only allowed two third-period goals in the last eight games (tonight and an empty-net goal on Saturday at Vancouver).
- Carter was selected as the McDonald’s Player Of The Month.
Raw Audio Interviews
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed; click on the arrow to listen):
Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz (5:05)
Frozen Royalty Video via YouTube – Interview with Jonathan Bernier
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NOTE: contains footage/comments not available on KingsVision
Post-Game Interviews via KingsVision On YouTube
Game Highlights From KingsVision: Nashville Predators vs. Los Angeles Kings, March 4, 2013, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
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