Josi's OT winner derails Kings' comeback attempt

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Los Angeles, CA ( - Roman Josi scored at the 18-second mark of overtime, letting the steam out of a momentous Los Angeles comeback, and the Nashville Predators claimed a rousing 7-6 victory over the Kings at Staples Center.

Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Mark Arcobello and Olli Jokinen also lit the lamp for the Predators, winners in six of their last eight despite wasting a three-goal lead in the final two minutes of regulation.

Mike Ribeiro chipped in a pair of assists while Pekka Rinne escaped with a 24- save win as Nashville claimed first place in the Central Division by one point over idle Chicago.

"I liked everything about our game up until that point where we went to the four-on-four and they pulled their goalie. I liked everything about our game," said Preds head coach Peter Laviolette.

Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter netted goals in a span of 1:27 late in the contest for the Kings, who fought back from a 5-1 deficit to earn a point.

"We got a point. That's the way hockey works, right? I told our players several times tonight that it was going to take seven goals to win. I was right," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. "I don't think anything was lacking. I thought it was an exciting game."

Martin Jones took the loss, charged with four goals on 16 shots, including Josi's winner. He subbed for an ineffective Jonathan Quick, who was yanked after yielding three goals on nine shots in almost 10 minutes of play.

Jokinen's third goal of the season provided some breathing room for the Predators at 6-3 with 8:38 gone in the third, but the visitors failed to protect the lead.

King netted his second of the afternoon with 2:01 on the clock and Jones was pulled for an extra attacker from the ensuing faceoff.

The strategy paid off when Alec Martinez uncorked a point shot which appeared to carom off Gaborik's body in front with 64 seconds to play and Carter beat Rinne from the right side with 34 seconds left.

On the winner, Filip Forsberg drew multiple Kings to the left side of the ice, while Josi was free to receive the pass, skate up the middle and beat Jones from between the circles.

"I had a lot of space and lots of time and good thing it went in," Josi stated. "I was a little surprised getting that much space in OT. I just walked down the slot and tried to pick the corner."

Only 32 seconds after the initial puck drop, a Matt Greene point blast changed direction in mid-flight then dipped past Rinne. Nashville seized control with five consecutive scores.

Fisher tapped a rolling puck home from the left side of the crease at 4:54, and the visitors went ahead at the 6:16 mark as Greene accidentally deflected a cross-crease dish from Wilson over the goal line.

It was 3-1 for the Preds on an Ellis point drive which came 1:17 after Kings forward Kyle Clifford sat for slashing and Jones came in for Quick.

Nashville then scored twice in the first four minutes of the second with Ekholm credited at 2:16 and Arcobello beating Jones high to the short side from the left circle at 3:57.

LA finally answered at 6:29 on a Martinez shot from the left-wing boards which hit a Preds player and changed direction en route to the back of the net.

King then tipped in a Jake Muzzin shot from the left point and the hosts closed to 5-3 with less than five minutes to go in the second.

Game Notes

Saturday's contest marked the most total goals between the two clubs since the Preds arrived in the NHL for the 1998-99 season, with the previous best 11 goals in a 6-5 Kings OT decision in Los Angeles on Nov. 2, 2002 ... Kings forward Anze Kopitar contributed three assists in defeat ... A total of 27 different players recorded at least one point in the game, with Nashville boasting 16 of that amount ... The Preds scratched forward James Neal due to a lower-body injury.