Los Angeles, CA – Jeff Carter notched the fifth hat trick of his career to help the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 rout of the Nashville Predators on Monday.
Slava Voynov had three assists while Mike Richards and Dwight King also scored for the Kings, who were coming off a loss to Vancouver on Saturday that had snapped a five-game winning streak. Jonathan Bernier posted 18 saves in the victory.
"This was a big game for us," said Carter. "We didn't start well, but we stuck with it. We added more speed to the game in the third period and it opened up things for us."
Gabriel Bourque scored late in the game for the Predators, who have dropped three straight, five of six and seven of nine. Pekka Rinne gave up all five goals on just 13 shots before being pulled late in the contest.
"We have to play for 60 minutes," said Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. "We have to battle through this because we're just not scoring out there."
Los Angeles got the only goal of the first two periods when, off a broken play, Carter tried to backhand the rolling puck from the left side to the slot and he didn't get all of it. However, it rolled to the net and fooled Rinne for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead at the 5:28 mark of the second.
The Kings exploded in the third period to take control.
It was a 2-0 game just 4:39 in as Colin Fraser sent a pass from the right circle while on the ice to the low left side where Carter tucked it in. Just 19 seconds later, Carter stole the puck from Roman Josi and skated in on a breakaway before sliding it between the pads of Rinne and the hats rained down on the ice.
Richards got in on the scoring while on the power play less than two minutes later as his one-timer from the right circle on the fly found the back of the net.
King scored with 9:06 to play while Bourque kept Nashville from being shut out with his sixth of the season with 6:55 to play.
Los Angeles hosts St. Louis on Tuesday ... Nashville returns home to face Edmonton on Friday ... The Predators had won the previous two matchups with the Kings this season ... Chris Mason replaced Rinne after the fifth goal and stopped all three shots he faced in relief ... Los Angeles went 2-for-4 on the power play while Nashville was 0-for-3.