The Los Angeles Kings may want to think about having another hat giveaway on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.
One night after an offensive outburst that featured a hat trick from Jeff Carter, the Kings look to stay hot against the Blues with a sixth straight home victory.
Los Angeles gave away hats to the first 10,000 fans on Monday night and probably got most of those back when Carter capped a natural hat trick with two goals 19-seconds apart in the third period of a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
The Kings were held to just six shots over the first two periods, but put 10 on net in a four-goal third period. Mike Richards and Dwight King also scored in the frame for Los Angeles, which had a five-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Vancouver on Saturday but rebounded with its eighth victory in 10 games.
"It was a big game for us," said Carter, who has 10 goals in his last 10 games. "The last game in Vancouver we didn't have our best effort. We came out and I don't think we started the game particularly well but we stuck with it and it was pretty good hockey in the third period."
The Kings opened a five-game homestand and a span of 10 of 12 in Los Angeles by improving to 6-1-1 as the host this season.
Defenseman Slava Voynov had a career-high three assists versus the Predators and Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves to notch his fifth victory in a row, a personal best.
"Every time (coach Darryl) Sutter puts me in, I just got to do my job and I'm lucky the guys have been playing really well in front of me and it makes my job a lot easier."
Bernier's winning streak began with a 4-1 victory in St. Louis on Feb. 11, a game that saw Carter score twice and Voynov notch two assists.
The Kings have won four of their past five versus the Blues overall and took both meetings in Los Angeles last season, victories of 5-0 and 1-0 (shootout).
St. Louis, meanwhile, has lost four of its past six and was downed 4-1 in Dallas by the Stars on Sunday. David Perron scored for the Blues 4:20 into the game, but it was all Stars from then on.
Brian Elliott gave up all four goals on 27 shots.
St. Louis did appear to tie the game at two in the third period, but rookie Adam Cracknell had his tally waived off after it was ruled he had kicked the puck into the net.
"The league ruled on it and said that it was conclusive that it wasn't a goal from upstairs, so whatever the call is it is," said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock.
The Blues lost the opener of a five-game road trip, one that has seen the club joined by free agent Jason Arnott.
St. Louis is giving the veteran a look as it deals with injuries to Alex Steen, Andy McDonald and Vladimir Tarasenko. Arnott had 17 goals and 17 assists in 72 games with the Blues last season.
Arnott had a deal in place to join the New York Rangers earlier this season, but it was nixed over concerns about his health.