Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and David Legwand had each scored twice – marking the first time in franchise history Nashville had three two-goal scorers in a game – to lead the Predators to a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Nashville, coming off a 7-2 loss to Buffalo on Thursday night, had seven goals for the first time this season.
“I was not concerned with how we were going to respond after the Buffalo game,” Trotz said. “I’ve always said we have a lot of good character and good leadership in the room. We usually respond well after a poor performance.
“I think the guys knew they had to have this game, not only for the two points, but to show everybody the Buffalo game was uncharacteristic of us.”
Paul Kariya also scored for the Predators. He missed his chance for a two-goal night when Los Angeles goalie Dan Cloutier stopped him on a penalty shot in the first period.
Legwand scored on his penalty shot in the second period. He shot the puck between Cloutier’s leg pads at the 4:35 mark. The last time Legwand scored on a penalty shot was on Dec. 23, 2000, getting the game-winner in overtime against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. He is 2-for-3 in penalty shots in his career.
“I thought Legwand’s penalty shot was the turning point in the game,” Trotz said.
Chris Mason earned his third shutout of the season, and his second this month, stopping all 34 shots he faced.
“They were struggling a bit,” Mason said. “Teams like that are dangerous. If you give them a little momentum they can hurt you. But we stayed with them and we were patient. We scored a lot of goals.”
Kariya found the net at 14:22 of the first period. Alexander Radulov took a shot from the left side and the puck rebounded long to the right side of the net off one of Cloutier’s leg pads. Kariya skated in and fired the rebound over Cloutier who was flat on the ice.
The Predators have been dealing with slow starts in several games this season. They struck early in the first period at 5:45 when Cloutier blocked Steve Sullivan’s breakaway shot straight up in the air and Arnott skated through the slot and knocked the rebound over the goal line.
Arnott’s second goal of the night was at 9:45 of the second as he fired the one-timer from the left circle just inside the top left corner on the power play.
At 15:45 of the second Dumont took a shot from the right circle that bounced off the right goal post. He followed his shot, taking a swing at the puck in midair and sending it into the net to make it 5-0.
Dumont’s second goal of the period came on the power play with six seconds left. Kariya passed the puck low into the slot and Dumont came in from the left side to beat Cloutier at close range.
Nashville was 3-for-10 on the power play and Los Angeles was 0-for-9. The Predators also scored short-handed since Legwand’s penalty shot occurred when they were down a man.
“We had chances on the power play to make this a game,” Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. “Give their goalie credit for being good, but we didn’t bear down on our chances. There was some open nets there and we didn’t put the puck in the back of the net. For the first period-and-a-half our power play was more effective than their power play, but we just couldn’t finish.”
Barry Brust replaced Cloutier 41 seconds into third when Cloutier was given a minor for roughing, a five-minute penalty for spearing and a game misconduct after tangling with Nashville’s Scott Hartnell.
“I feel terrible for Cloutier,” Mason said. “I can relate. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. He was having terrible luck. The frustration probably got to him.”
Legwand got his second goal of the game at 5:14 of the period on the power play as he slipped the puck between Brust and the right goal post.
“Everyone contributed in some way,” Trotz said. “Our top guys scored goals. Mason made some big stops and was deserving of the shutout. Special teams were huge. We played with a lot more jump than we did against Buffalo.”
Notes: Nashville had two penalty shots in a game for the first time. … The Predators have scored a power-play goal in seven straight games. … Cloutier stopped 20 of 26 shots he faced. … Arnott has three goals in his last two games.