Kings blow two-goal lead in 1st period vs. Preds

After the 1st period:

Kings 2, Nashville Predators 2

The good: The Kings scored twice in the first 6 minutes 13 seconds to briefly put the crowd at ease and give backup goalie Jonathan Bernier a cushion to work with. He ended up needing it. Even better regarding the quick start, the goals came from two sources who were way overdue to hit the back of the net, defensemen Alec Martinez and Drew Doughty. Martinez got his on the power play, an area the Kings have been very successful this season. Justin Williams made a nice dot-to-dot pass to Martinez and he one-timed it past Nashville back-up goalie Anders Lindback. Jarret Stoll also received an assist on the play for his 300th career point. He didn’t waste any time getting his 301st, passing the puck out to the point where Doughty sent a blast that nicked the crossbar and hit the net for a 2-0 lead.

The bad: After taking the two-goal lead, the Kings played as if they reached their quota for the night. They’ve scored three or more goals in only four of 14 games this season, and two of those games they needed overtime to score a third goal. Midway through the period, Nashville got on the scoreboard after the Kings were unable to clear a loose puck in the slot. Nashville right wing Matt Halischuk got to it first and had a wide-open lane to beat Bernier up high. The Predators then tied it after Kings forward Simon Gagne went to the penalty box for a questionable interference penalty in the offensive zone and Craig Smith scored with 18 seconds left on the penalty.

The in between: For the fifth straight game, the Kings committed a minor penalty in the opening minutes and for the third time in that span, the penalty came in the opening seconds. This time, it was Stoll who was the offender, going off the ice for interference 25 seconds into the game. The Kings have been real good in the penalty-kill department as well and they killed off the man-advantage with relative ease. Just like Monday night in San Jose, the Kings out-played and out-shot their opponent (15-8), but don’t have a lead to show for it.