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Kings continue pursuit of playoffs with win over Predators

Dustin Penner had a goal and an assist as 2, at Staples Center on Saturday.

Anze Kopitar, Dwight King and Kyle Clifford lit the lamp and Trevor Lewis added two assists for the Kings, who have won four straight games in their pursuit for a playoff spot. Jonathan Bernier made 19 saves in the victory.

"We've been playing really well, this is playoff hockey for us," Lewis said. "We just have to keep it going now. We kept pouring it on in the third, and it worked for us."

Martin Erat finished with a goal and an assist and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators, who have dropped two straight and remain in fifth place in the West with 90 points. Pekka Rinne gave up all four goals on 27 shots.

The Kings opened the scoring at 7:53 of the first stanza after Kopitar pounced on a loose puck along the right wing wall, moved to the slot and ripped a quick wrist shot high over the right shoulder of Rinne.

Nashville tied the game with a power-play tally at 13:43 of the second stanza after Erat accepted a pass in the right circle from Ryan Suter and fired a slap shot through traffic and past a screened Bernier.

Los Angeles broke the game open with three consecutive goals in the third period. The Kings took the lead for good at 8:04 after Lewis collected the puck along the right wing wall and gained the blue line with speed. Lewis looked up and spotted Penner charging hard to the net. Lewis threw a perfect saucer pass right to the tape of Penner, who tapped it home.

King made it 3-1 at 13:02 after he accepted a deft pass in the neutral zone from Jeff Carter, broke in on net and sent a wrist shot through the legs of Rinne.

Clifford capped the scoring for Los Angeles at 16:19 when he got in behind the Preds defense, got a pass from Jordan Nolan and backhanded it past the Finnish netminder.

The Preds got within 4-2 at the 17:18 mark when Fisher slammed home a rebound off a point shot from Kevin Klein.

"They used the neutral zone very well and we turned it over," Klein said. "We had our opportunities, but it got away from us in the third."

Game Notes

The Kings improved to 18-2-2 when leading after the first period this season. They also improved to 23-1-2 when scoring three-or-more goals in a game and 28-5-6 when scoring first...Bernier has allowed two-or-fewer goals in eight of his last nine starts and is 6-1-0 in his career against the Predators...It was Penner's first goal since February 7 against Tampa Bay...Nashville went 1- for-3 with the man advantage, while the Kings failed to score with three power-play chances.