After a huge win in Anaheim last night, the Nashville Predators (20-13-6) head downtown to play the Los Angeles Kings (22-16-1) tonight at the Staples Center at 9:30 p.m.
The Predators have now won three in a row while the Kings are in the midst of a four game slide. Yesterday at practice, Kings coach Terry Murray reconfigured his lines to try to shake his team out of the slump.
The Preds and Kings have met twice this year with the Kings winning both contests. In Los Angeles on November 6 the Kings won 4-1 in a game that was not as close as the score. On December 18, the Kings beat the Preds in Nashville 6-1.
The Predators are 7-2-0 at the Staples center since the beginning of the 2006-07 season but have lost the last two games played there. Nashville has better record against the Kings on the road (12-8-(0)-3) than they do at Bridgestone arena (8-12-(3)-0).
The Predators indicated that Anders Lindback (9-3-2, 2.39, 9.22) will get his first start since the return of Pekka Rinne tonight. The Kings are expected to go with Jonathan Quick (18-10-1, 2,09, .922) but could go with Jonathan Bernier (4-6-0, 3.09, .894) who has had good success against the Preds.
Preds Coach Barry Trotz, can move into sixth place by himself on the all-time wins with one team list with a victory tonight. Last night's win tied him with Dick Irwin who had 431 wins with the Montreal Canadians between 1940 and 1955.
Go see Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, The Tennessean and Predators.com for other previews.
For Kings previews check out Mayors Manor, Jonathan Moncrief, Kingscast, KingsCourt, Jewels from the Crown, Kings Insider, J.P. Hoonstra, and the LA Times.
Here is our game story from last night.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, Mark Willoughby, Paul McCann, and Fang Finger Fever.
Hockey Fights has the Wade Belak - George Parros match from last night.
For the Ducks side of the story check out J.P. Hoonstra, The Battle of California, the OC Register, Anaheim Calling, and the LA Times.
In Pred Nation...
J R Lind spoke with Tom Cigarran yesterday who paints a solid picture for the Predators financial future.
Joe Yerdon, at PHT, declared that the Preds have a clean bill of health (financially) to his wide audience.
David Singleton does some creative math to find a way for the Predators to trade for Jerome Iginla. I'm not buying but it is creative.
Check out the podcast of Paul McCann and Pete Weber talking to Ross Greenburg, creator of 24/7, on last night's SlapShot Radio.
Rebecca Allen, of Hockey Tonk Angel fame, and all the other founding Angels are taking the challenge to run the Fangtastic 5K next month.
Voting is ending tomorrow for the AHL All-Star game to be held in Hershey, PA on January 31st. Go here to vote for your favorite Preds prospects.
World Junior Championships...
All of the hopes and dreams of the country of Canada came crashing down as the unheralded Russian team stunned Canada with a 5-3 win to take home the Gold Medal. Canada was leading 3-0 at the end of two periods and allowed Russia to score five goals in the third in one of the worst collapses in the country's hockey history.
Ryan Ellis was declared the tourney's top defenseman.
Team USA held off Sweden in a 4-2 win to capture the Bronze Medal.
Full, Uncensored 24/7 Episodes...
This YouTube site has the first three episodes of 24/7 up in the original uncensored form and promises to have the final episode up at some point today. There are commercials but that beats paying for HBO.
Both teams are adjusting to life after HBO.
The final numbers are in and the Winter Classic has been declared an unbridled success.
Around the NHL...
After the entire hockey world coronated the Tampa Bay Lightning as the next best thing on Tuesday, they got drilled by the Penguins 8-1 and gave up five unanswered goals in the first period. Chris Kunitz had a hat trick in the effort.
Steve Lapore has the ratings for the Winter Classic by market. Nashville was about middle of the pack but was the leader of what is generally considered the non-traditional markets.
Logan Couture won the NHL Rookie of the Month for December. Anders Lindback got a mention in the article as another contender.
From Columbus comes the news that Mike Commodore has asked to be traded after being a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games. Coach Scott Arniel claims that it is a matter of "hockey skills" and is not personal.
Here is part two of Chris Botta's grades on last summer's free agent crop.
Chris Johnson looks at the most down year that most Canadian teams have had in several years.
Odds and Ends...
Here is a sneaked first look at Android 3.0 Honeycomb made especially for a tablet.
It's January so the gyms are full of resoluters. So are you converting to the religion of Gymish?
This has been a hot topic for a few days but if you haven't seen the story of the homeless guy with the radio voice, check it out.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass