Viktor Stalberg got credit for the tiebreaking goal when Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin deflected the puck into his own net, and the Nashville Predators slowed their March skid with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Craig Smith scored the tying goal on a power play early in the third period for the Predators, who won for just the second time in nine games. After playing five straight periods of scoreless hockey, Nashville got two goals in 66 seconds and hung on for its first regulation victory since Feb. 24.
Pekka Rinne made 23 saves as Nashville reclaimed sole possession of the Central Division lead.
Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots and Jeff Carter scored his 24th goal for the Kings, who had won four of five.
The defending Stanley Cup champions slipped back out of the playoff picture with just their fourth regulation loss since Feb. 5. They sit one point behind Winnipeg for the final wild-card berth, albeit with a game in hand on the Jets.
The Kings went ahead on a power play in the opening minutes when Andrej Sekera's shot ricocheted off defenseman Ryan Ellis and went straight to Carter, who buried it for his 13th goal in 19 career games against Nashville. The power forward has six goals in Los Angeles' last seven games.
Nashville allowed the first goal for the 13th time in its last 14 games, another factor in its slump. Quick then made several sharp saves in the first two periods, sprawling onto his back to rob Calle Jarnkrok early on.
The Predators finally broke through after Kings rookie Nick Shore took a penalty for playing the puck with his hand during a faceoff. Smith slipped in front of the Kings' net late in the power play and lifted his 22nd goal over Quick.
Los Angeles had killed 38 of its previous 39 penalties since Feb. 12, while the Predators were in an 0-for-21 power-play slump with no goals in their last six games. Quick hadn't allowed a goal in 118 minutes, 10 seconds.
Just 1:06 later, Stalberg threw a puck at Quick's net, where it ramped up Muzzin's outstretched stick and flew past Quick's ear. Stalberg got credit for his first goal of the season at Muzzin's expense.
NOTES: Nashville F James Neal sat out with an upper-body injury. ... Los Angeles C Jarret Stoll missed his first game of the season with an upper-body injury. ... Kings C Anze Kopitar played less than 24 hours after his wife, Ines, gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Neza.