The Kings, who are averaging just 2.08 goals per game, posted a 4-0 victory Saturday against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. It marked the third time in six games that Los Angeles had posted four goals, but the Kings managed just one goal in the other three games combined during that stretch.
Although Los Angeles debuted new forward Jeff Carter in Saturday's game, it was captain Dustin Brown that provided the offensive punch against the Blackhawks, as he recorded his third career hat trick by notching the first three goals of the game.
"That felt good. We played a complete game tonight," Brown said of his accomplishment and the total team effort. "We're playing for a spot right now. Our preparation was right on the mark and we didn't make many mistakes."
Brown, who is tied for the team lead with 17 goals, has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors ahead of today's deadline and his performance against the Blackhawks certainly did not hurt his value.
Willie Mitchell also tallied and Jonathan Quick stopped all 19 shots he faced for his seventh shutout this season for the Kings, who are tied for ninth in the Western Conference playoff race with Colorado. LA is two behind Dallas for the eighth and final postseason berth in the West.
Carter was held without a point on four shots in his first game with the Kings. LA acquired his services on Thursday, dealing defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick in either 2012 or 2013 to Columbus in exchange for Carter. The deal was designed to add offense, as Carter has recorded three 30-plus goal seasons in his career and reached a career-high with 46 goals for Philadelphia in 2008-09.
Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Kings are playing two straight and six of their next seven games on the road. LA is just 12-9-8 as the visiting team this season.
The Predators are coming off a lopsided victory and have recorded a point in four straight games (3-0-1). Nashville is currently seeded fifth in the West and is six points ahead of Chicago.
Shea Weber scored twice to help lead the Predators to Saturday's 6-2 rout of the visiting San Jose Sharks. With 14 goals on the season, Weber is tied with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson for the most tallies by a defenseman this season.
"I think we played well as a team against a good offensive team," said Weber. "Everybody did their job on the ice and Rinne was good in net. Good team win."
Nashville is capping a four-game homestand tonight and is 20-7-5 in Music City this season.
The Kings have won two straight and five of their last six games against the Predators and Nashville has dropped its last three home tests in this series.