for this game

Kopitar nets a pair as Kings halt Predators' home streak

Feb 11, 2007 - 6:38 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Nashville Predators appeared to have a great chance at extending their home winning streak. Rookie Anze Kopitar and veteran Sean Burke threw a monkey wrench into their plans.

Kopitar scored two goals and Burke flirted with a shutout for over 50 minutes as the struggling Los Angeles Kings halted the Predators' franchise-record eight-game home winning streak with a 4-1 triumph.

Nashville eclipsed its previous mark for consecutive home wins when it posted a 4-2 victory over Toronto on Thursday. With a team that had won just twice in its previous 14 games entering the Gaylord Entertainment Center on Saturday, the Predators may have taken things for granted.

"They played really well," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "They played a simple road game. When they got the two quick goals there in the second, they made it very hard for us to come back. When they got the lead, we weren't able to generate anything. ... They came in here and took two points from us, and they really deserved them."

"It seems lately with teams we should beat on paper, they beat us," Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun added. "We have to go back to our grind game, playing our system better. ... They just wanted to win more than we did tonight. They're certainly not the better team, but they just played better as a team tonight and they worked harder."

After a scoreless first period, Kopitar cashed in during a power play just 29 seconds into the middle session for a 1-0 lead. It was the first man-advantage tally scored by the Kings in 14 opportunities vs. the Predators this season.

"We did a really good job on the penalty kill and we got a couple of power-play goals," Kopitar said. "When the special teams are going good, that gives us momentum for 5-on-5."

Brian Willsie doubled the advantage 34 seconds later, and the 19-year-old Slovenian completed his fourth two-goal performance of the campaign with just over eight minutes to go in the period for a 3-0 cushion.

"If the points (for the team) are coming, I'm very happy," Kopitar said.

Burke stopped six shots in the first period and 12 in the second before yielding a tally from a bad angle by defenseman Dan Hamhuis with 9:46 to go in the third. The 40-year-old finished with 21 saves overall.

"Sean Burke was there when we needed him to be," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "He made a couple of very nice saves when we needed him to."

"It was very important for a number of reasons," Burke said of the win. "The last time we played these guys, it wasn't very pleasant. This was a great team effort tonight. We had a game plan and we executed it very well. Defensively, we played a very strong game."

Michael Cammalleri had a goal and an assist and All-Star defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky set up a pair of tallies for Los Angeles, which won for just the second time in the last six meetings with Nashville.

"Our team has played well on this road trip," said Crawford, whose club is 2-0-2 on its five-game trip, which concludes in Carolina on Tuesday. "We have gotten points in all of the games. Now we get to go and play the defending Stanley Cup champions. Hopefully, that will be exciting for our team."

Vokoun stopped 27 shots for the Predators, who have dropped four of six overall.

"We just didn't play with enough spark," Vokoun said. "They were a desperate team and they played a good hockey game."

"There is a responsibility that comes with being a top-end team," Trotz said. "We have been good for a really long time, and now we're going through a little bit of an adversity stretch right now."

Kopitar, who halted a six-game goalless drought against Washington on Thursday, opened the scoring by burying a rebound from low in the right faceoff circle. Willsie made it 2-0 with his sixth of the season, backhanding a loose puck past Vokoun from the left side of the net 63 seconds into the middle session for his second tally in 19 contests.

With 8:05 remaining in the period, Kopitar carried down the left wing and went around the net before beating Vokoun with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

"The third goal was really important," Kopitar said.

Cammalleri created a 4-0 advantage with a one-timer from the high slot 6 1/2 minutes into the third.

"We didn't cheat anybody tonight," Crawford said. "Our team really wanted the victory, and they did what they needed to do to get it."

"It doesn't matter who's in the other dressing room, we have to be prepared every single night," Nashville's Steve Sullivan said. "Games like this make it tougher for us coming down the stretch, when we are losing games like this."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 3 1 4
    NASHVILLE 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 15 (LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY, MICHAEL
    CAMMALLERI) 0:29
    LOS - BRIAN WILLSIE 6 (JAMIE LUNDMARK, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN)
    1:03
    LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 16 (JASON WARD) 11:55
    3RD PRD: LOS - (PP) MICH

    Feb 10 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    NASHVILLE 1
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAN HAMHUIS 5 (DAVID LEGWAND, ALEXANDER RADULOV) 10:14

    Kings vs. PredatorsFeb 10 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    NASHVILLE 0
    3RD PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 23 (MATTIAS NORSTROM, LUBOMIR
    VISNOVSKY) 6:29

    Kings vs. PredatorsFeb 10 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 3 3
    NASHVILLE 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 15 (LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY, MICHAEL
    CAMMALLERI) 0:29
    LOS - BRIAN WILLSIE 6 (JAMIE LUNDMARK, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN)
    1:03
    LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 16 (JASON WARD) 11:55
    SHOTS ON GO

    Feb 10 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 16 (JASON WARD) 11:55

    Kings vs. PredatorsFeb 10 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: LOS - BRIAN WILLSIE 6 (JAMIE LUNDMARK, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN)
    1:03

    Kings vs. PredatorsFeb 10 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    NASHVILLE 0
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ANZE KOPITAR 15 (LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY, MICHAEL
    CAMMALLERI) 0:29

    Kings vs. PredatorsFeb 10 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 0
    NASHVILLE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 11 11
    NAS 6 6
    GOALIES: LOS - SEAN BURKE
    NAS - TOMAS VOKOUN

    Feb 10 8:44 PM