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Preds gain two points on LA with win…

All of a sudden, they’re only five points away.

By beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 tonight, the Nashville Predators gained some important ground in the Western Conference standings. The Preds improve to 75 points, three points back from sixth place Colorado, four back from Phoenix and five from the Kings.

More importantly, however, is the space they’re putting between themselves and the always dangerous Detroit Red Wings. The Wings currently sit in the eighth and final spot with 70 points. And, now that they’re healthy, they look to make up some serious ground down the stretch. The more the Preds can win, the longer they can focus on who’s ahead of them, as opposed to who’s behind them.

Of course, Nashville will be in Motor City tomorrow night so, perhaps, those are the two most important points of the stretch run. But, if the Preds can somehow beat the Wings in regulation on Friday, they’ll have gone from only three points ahead of Detroit before the Olympic break, to seven points ahead.

Puck drops at 6:30pm and cannot be seen in the Nashville area unless you have the NHL Center Ice package.

GAME NOTES:
* As if fans needed any more reasons to want Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein split up, they were the only Preds players with a minus rating tonight. Each were minus-1.
* Thanks to the two goal win, Nashville now has an even goal differential for the season. They’ve scored – and allowed – 178 goals through 63 games this year.
* Patric Hornqvist took seven shots against Los Angeles. He continues to be snake-bit however, not having scored since February 4.
* The Preds had five power plays but continued to struggle with the man advantage. They rarely set up plays or got consistent pressure. They did convert on one however, extending their season high streak to eight straight games with a power play tally.
* Jason Arnott was lights out in the face-off dot, going 11-for-17.
* With his 11th goal of the season tonight, Marcel Goc not only improved on his career high in goals, but matched his career high in points (22). He’ll have 19 games to try and set a new career mark.
* Jerred Smithson scored his eighth goal of the season, a new career high, when he bagged the empty netter.