Kings leave Pred killer Bernier on the bench, lose again…

Barry Trotz (2-7-13)

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier is 6-1-0 against the Nashville Predators all-time. His save percentage in those seven games? An incredible .930. His goals-against average? An amazing 2.00. But, for the second time this season, the Kings opted for Jonathan Quick instead.

It would come back to bite them, yet again.

The 16th consecutive sellout at Bridgestone Arena saw the Predators extend their win streak to four games thanks to a 3-0 shutout victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Quick is now 1-5-2 against the Predators in his career.

Back-to-back Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne was outstanding, stopping 32 shots en route to his fourth win of the year. He’s now 4-2-3 and has allowed a goal or less in each of his last four contests.

“It was not pretty tonight,” captain Shea Weber said. “But we found a way to score some goals and just battle through it. Pekka made some great save throughout the game.”

Gabriel Bourque got things started when David Legwand fed him a perfect backhand pass from behind the net.

Another gorgeous pass resulted in a second Nashville goal. A pinching Kevin Klein carried the puck down the side boards and centered it through three pairs of legs, finding a breaking Colin Wilson for the tally midway through the second.

The former Boston University Terrier would strike again, this time on the man advantage. Weber blasted a shot from the point but, when the rebound came to Wilson, he made no mistake, notching his third goal of the year.

“I love scoring at home, it’s a lot more fun,” Wilson admitted after the game. “When you’re on the road, you don’t get that same excitement from the fans. You kind of forget and tonight it was great to get out there and the crowd helped.”

Wilson has five points in his last two games and six in his last three. The three-game point streak is tied for the longest of his career.

“He’s using his assets,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said about Wilson. “He’s strong. He can handle the weight and the puck. He keeps plays alive and he is going to the hard areas. Both of his goals were in that area.”

Wilson and the Predators will go back on the road one more time before finally setting up shop for a while in Music City next week. Saturday night, they’ll take on the Wild in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Preds beat Ryan Suter‘s club 3-1 back on January 22. It was Nashville’s first win of the season.

Expect to see Chris Mason between the pipes for the Predators. He’s already beaten Minnesota once this year and it’s the first of back-to-back’s for Nashville who will need Rinne against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Puck drops at 7:00pm Central. You can catch all the action on FS-Tennessee and 102.5 The Game.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // section303.com