Kings Continue To Stay Unbeaten At Home, Beat The Predators 4-1

The Kings are 6-0-0 at home for the first time since 1980-1981.

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Mitchell, Ponikarovsky Both Out A Month For Kings

The Los Angels Kings, co-owners of the best record in the NHL, got some bad news today with a pair of broken bones. Both defenseman Willie Mitchell and left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky will miss significant time with injuries. Both injuries occurred in the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. The Kings announced the Mitchell injury via Twitter:

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell expected to miss four to six weeks with fractured wrist

Rudy Kelly on Battle of California speculated on what the Kings would do in Mitchell's absence:

The Kings probably call up Jake Muzzin. The Kings moved Davis Drewiske up alongside Drew Doughty when Mitchell initially got hurt on Saturday against the Predators but I doubt that's a long-term solution. The Kings have a clear top-4: Doughty, Rob Scuderi, Jack Johnson, and Matt Greene. Terry Murray seems to err on the side of caution with his defensive pairings so I see him trying Johnson-Doughty with Scuderi-Greene as a safety net. Scuderi can jump up with Johnson occasionally while Drewiske takes a shift with Doughty.

In addition, Ponikarovsky is out four weeks with a broken finger, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times:

The Kings, who did not practice on Monday, did not immediately put either player on injured reserve or call anyone up. If a move takes place it's likely to happen Tuesday.

The Kings' next game is Thursday night against the Dallas Stars, at Staples Center.

For more Kings news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Jewels From the Crown.


Kings Beat The Predators, Continue To Stay Unbeaten At Home

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown each had a goal and an assist, as the Los Angeles Kings handled the Nashville Predators, 4-1, at Staples Center.

Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll also lit the lamp for the Kings, who have won four in a row and six out of seven. Smyth played in his 1,000th NHL game.

Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves for Los Angeles, which has won its first six home games for the first time since 1980-81, when the Kings were 7-0 as the hosts.

Shane O'Brien scored the lone goal for the Predators, who have lost four in a row. Pekka Rinne turned aside 18-of-22 shots before being pulled in favor of Anders Lindback, who made nine saves.

The Kings drew first blood at the 4:11 mark of the first period. Kopitar's shot from the left circle sailed past Rinne's glove and into the net.

Brown made it 2-0 with seven minutes remaining. Brown led a 2-on-2 rush down the right side and fired a wrister from the right circle past Rinne.

Smyth gave Los Angeles a three-goal margin at the 6:47 mark of the second. Rob Scuderi's shot from the right point was controlled in front by Smyth, who chipped the disc past Rinne.

Stoll made it 4-0 at the 10:47 mark of the middle stanza. A scramble for the puck in front resulted in Stoll's backhanded goal.

O'Brien's slapper from the left circle with 2:24 left in the third accounted for the final margin.

Game Notes

The Preds won three out of four meetings with LA last year and have taken nine of 12 and 12 of 17 overall in the series. Nashville had also claimed five straight at the Staples Center...Nashville forward Martin Erat missed the game with an upper-body injury...The Kings (10-3-0) have the most wins and points in the NHL...The Kings' 10 wins after 13 games ties a club record (1980-81 club also had 10 wins in first 13 games)...Smyth became the 257th NHL player to play in 1,000 games (17th player to play 1,000th game in a Kings uniform)...Los Angeles forward Justin Williams, who had two assists, extended his point streak to seven games.


Kings Host Nashville Predators Looking To Stay Unbeaten At Home

(Sports Network) - The first-place Los Angeles Kings will shoot for a fourth straight victory when they host the struggling Nashville Predators tonight at Staples Center. The Kings, who are leading both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference with 18 points, have recorded victories in eight of their last 10 contests.

Los Angeles used an excellent defensive performance to notch its latest victory in Thursday's home test against Tampa Bay. Justin Williams scored the only goal of the game and Jonathan Quick stopped all 24 shots he faced in the Kings' 1-0 decision.

Ryan Smyth set up the game-winning tally for the Kings, while Quick improved to 8-1-0 on the season with his ninth career shutout. The game also marked the return of star defenseman Drew Doughty, who had missed the previous six games with a concussion.

"It's a team effort. You just look at the way we played tonight, it's one of the top offenses in the league and they didn't get too many quality scoring chances," Quick said. "We were extremely responsible in the defensive zone and we were smart and didn't take too many penalties."

The Kings, who are playing the third test of a five-game homestand tonight, are 5-0-0 as the hosts this season. It's the first time LA has won its first five home games of a campaign since 1980-81, when the Kings were 7-0 as the hosts.

The Predators, meanwhile, have lost their last three games in regulation after beginning the year with a 5-0-3 mark. Barry Trotz's club is also 0-2 so far on a five-game road trip that will take Nashville to Anaheim and St. Louis after tonight. The Predators are 3-2-0 overall as the visiting team this year.

Nashville was burned by Ed Jovanovski and the Coyotes on Wednesday night, as the veteran defenseman notched the first hat trick of his career in the 4-3 win over the Preds.

Patric Hornqvist, Francis Bouillon and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal for the Predators. Pekka Rinne was tagged with all four goals on 28 shots in the loss.

The Preds were 1-for-5 on the power play and allowed Phoenix to score twice on three opportunities with the man advantage.

"We take a penalty and they tie it up then get another power-play goal and take the lead," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "It was a tough night, especially for the special teams."

Nashville forward Martin Erat is questionable for tonight after sitting out the last game with an upper-body injury.

The Preds won three out of four meetings with LA last year and has taken nine of 11 and 12 of 16 overall in the series. Nashville has also claimed five straight and seven of its last eight games at the Staples Center.

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