LOS ANGELES – Ryan Smyth scored a goal in his 1,000 NHL regular-season game and the league-leading Los Angeles Kings beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
Jonathan Bernier, who signed a two-year contract extension on Oct. 4, made 25 saves in his fourth start this season. He lost his shutout bid when Shane O'Brien beat him high to the glove side with a slap shot from the left circle — Nashville's final shot — with 2:24 to play. Bernier stopped 34 shots on March 30 at Nashville in a 2-0 win for his only NHL shutout.
Anze Kopitar and captain Dustin Brown each had a goal and an assist, and Willie Mitchell had two assists for the Kings (10-3), who are off to their best start since going 10-1-1 in the 1980-81 season.
Pekka Rinne, who has started every game during Nashville's four-game losing streak, gave up four goals on 22 shots and was replaced by Anders Lindback after Jarret Stoll scored at 10:47 of the second period.
The Predators had won five straight in Los Angeles since a 6-0 loss on Oct. 23, 2007.
Rinne had difficulty cutting down the angles in the first period as the Kings grabbed a 2-0 lead. Kopitar beat him high to the glove side with a wrist shot from the middle of the left circle at 4:11, and Brown scored on another wrist shot from the middle of the right circle at 13:00.
Smyth nearly scored with about 5 minutes left in the period, but Rinne robbed him at the doorstep with a sprawling save after a perfect cross-ice pass by Drew Doughty in front. He eventually made it 3-0 at 6:47 of the second, backhanding the puck past Rinne's glove after Rob Scuderi took a shot from the right point that was stopped by Smyth's stick.
Stoll added his fifth goal four minutes later, converting a rebound of Jack Johnson's wrist shot from the left point.
Smyth's first 770 NHL games were with the Edmonton Oilers. His wife, Stacey, flew former Oilers trainer Kenny Lowe and former equipment guys Barrie Stafford and Lyle Kulchisky to Los Angeles for the milestone game.
The trio surprised him at their home on Thursday with a framed game sheet from his NHL debut on Jan. 22, 1995 — the Oilers' first game after the lockout — against the Kings in Los Angeles.
NOTES: The last Kings player to appear in his 1,000th NHL game was Rob Blake on Nov. 4, 2006. ... Nashville's Barry Trotz coached his 914th regular-season game, tying Toe Blake for the fifth most with one team. ... The Kings are 6-0 at home for the first time since the 1980-81 season, when they were 7-0. ... The Kings have killed off all 20 opponents' power plays at home, but are only 1 for 20 with the advantage. ... The Kings blocked 18 shots during the first two periods. ... The Smyth-Williams-Stoll line has 14 goals and 34 points in the last 11 games.