Mason Shuts Out Kings As Predators Run Up Score

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Nashville Predators left Staples Center with a much better taste in their mouths than the last time they played there.

Chris Mason earned his 10th NHL shutout with 28 saves, Darcy Hordichuk snapped a 64-game goal-scoring drought and the Predators avenged their worst loss of the season with a 7-0 rout of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

"We don't have a short memory," Hordichuk said. "They did it to us the last time we were in L.A., so this was kind of payback for us to come back in their building and try to do the same thing to them."

The Predators are 2-0 against the Kings since losing 6-0 to them on Oct. 23. That night, they made it relatively easy for goaltender Jason LaBarbera by getting only 17 shots on net en route to their second straight shutout loss, and Mason was pulled midway through the second period after giving up four goals on 19 shots.

"We've all been on the other side of it, and it doesn't feel good," Mason said. "The last time we were here, the exact opposite happened and they spanked us. Our guys did a great job for me. I didn't have too many second shots, and on lot of the shots, they gave me a clear path to see the puck. This is a whole lot better than getting pulled in the second period."

Mason started for the first time in five games since losing 5-2 against San Jose. The shutout was his third against Los Angeles, including his first in the NHL on Jan. 13, 2004, when he made 33 saves in a scoreless tie at Nashville. The other was a 7-0 home victory on Dec. 23, 2006.

J.P. Dumont's power-play goal in the third period extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, breaking the franchise record previously shared by Steve Sullivan, Greg Johnson and Sergei Krivokrasov.

"I've just tried to keep things simple. I'm shooting the puck and staying around the net," said Dumont, who has 16 goals. "Right now, I'm having fun out there shooting the puck and our line is playing well."

David Legwand had a goal and two assists for Nashville, and Scott Nichol and Jason Arnott each had a goal and an assist. The Predators also got goals from Martin Erat and Jed Ortmeyer as they won for the seventh time in 10 games.

The Kings lost for the 11th time in 14 games and were shut out for the third time. Their 15-27-2 record is the worst in the league.

The Predators, who set a club record for the fastest four goals allowed during the second period of Monday's 5-2 loss at Anaheim (4:08), established a franchise mark for the fastest three goals scored in the first period against Southern California's other team as Hordichuk, Arnott and Legwand connected in a 1:15 span.

"It was a total collapse by our group tonight. I don't have an explanation," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "I do know that when you're as fragile as our team has shown itself to be of late, if you get scored on early like that, it's probably the worst thing that can happen."

Nashville needed just seven shots to chase LaBarbera to the bench. The first two goals came on rebounds of short wrist shots by Nichol and Dumont, the third on Legwand's 15-footer between LaBarbera's pads. It was the third time in four games that the Predators had three times in the first period.

"Everybody was disappointed with the game we played last night. Tonight, we put that game behind us and just wanted to make sure we all came out strong," Dumont said. "Even with a 3-0 lead, we didn't sit back. We kept going."

Hordichuk's goal was his first since Nov. 23, 2006, against Vancouver backup Dany Sabourin. It also was his first in 15 career games against the Kings.

"Darcy always gives 100 percent and is always ready to go to war for the team," Dumont said. "He had a big fight last night to try to change the momentum of the game. It didn't work out, but he gave his heart and soul last night. He totally deserved that goal tonight -- and it was the game-winning goal, too."

It was a huge relief for Hordichuk, who has 13 goals in 278 NHL games, and scored only once in 53 games last season.

"That's obviously not my job, but it's nice to contribute," he said. "In practice, I've been working on just trying to be in the right spot at the right time and try to read what's going to happen. It didn't even feel I got a monkey off my back -- more like a gorilla."


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