Expert Cappers Picks
National Hockey League
Preview
Los Angeles at Nashville
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 21, 2019
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

Monday's trade deadline serves as an elephant in the room - a distraction for some clubs but Christmas day for others who need a final piece in their postseason equation. The Nashville Predators have already made a big move - literally - in acquiring 6-foot-7 center Brian Boyle from New Jersey and could have more deals up their sleeve as they continue to jockey for playoff position by hosting the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

"Each guy (deals with) it in their own little way," Nashville's Ryan Ellis told The Tennessean. "Some may worry more than others, depending on your situation or your contract. The players, I don’t think there's a ton of communication between each other, especially for the guys that happen to be in the rumor mill or whatever. It's part of the business. You have to deal with it." The Predators are nipping at the heels of first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division and are all but assured to make the playoffs. The same cannot be said for Los Angeles, which is last in the Western Conference and will likely be a seller as it tries to build for the future. "Times like this, you got to stick together and keep striving every day to get better as a team and individually," the Kings' Alex Iafallo told reporters.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

ABOUT THE KINGS (23-30-6): Dustin Brown (33 points this season) recorded an assist in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Washington, giving him 600 career points (272 goals) in 1,094 games. Two-time Stanley Cup winning goaltender Jonathan Quick served as a backup Tuesday after missing Saturday's 4-2 loss to Boston (illness) while his .899 save percentage would be his lowest for a full season. Iafallo (13 goals, 26 points) has scored in two straight games and Anze Kopitar (team highs of 17 goals, 44 points) has 13 points (four goals) in his last 11 contests after recording an assist versus Washington.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (35-22-5): Boyle recorded his second goal in seven games with Nashville in Tuesday's 5-3 victory at Dallas when he skated 200 feet to score from close range after plastering the Stars' Tyler Seguin into the boards behind his own net. Roman Josi, whose 49 points are sixth among league defensemen, scored twice Tuesday and has five goals and eight assists in 10 February contests. Ryan Johansen (team-high 53 points) has been kept off the scoresheet in the last two games after registering two goals and seven assists in the previous six contests.

OVERTIME

1. Predators C Craig Smith (16 goals, 29 points) missed his first game of the season Tuesday with a lower-body injury.

2. Los Angeles is 8-for-13 on the penalty kill over its last five games while Nashville is 1-for-18 on the power play during that span.

3. The Predators have won four straight meetings, including 5-3 on Nov. 17 in the first of three encounters this season behind Calle Jarnkrok's first and only career hat trick.

PREDICTION: Predators 3, Kings 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Los Angeles 23-30-4-2 L5 12-15-1-1 11-15-3-1 5-4-1-0 18-26-3-2 8-8-1-1
Nashville 35-22-4-1 W1 19-11-1-0 16-11-3-1 3-4-1-0 32-18-3-1 10-7-1-0
Last Meeting
Los Angeles Nashville
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/17/18 LA 3 NAS 5 28 38 0-3 43 25 2-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 2
Nashville C. Jarnkrok 3
Goals Player  
Los Angeles A. Iafallo 1
Nashville C. Jarnkrok 3
Assists Player  
Los Angeles D. Brown 1
Nashville R. Ellis 2
Saves Player  
Los Angeles C. Petersen 38
Nashville P. Rinne 25
Season
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 47
Nashville R. Johansen 60
Goals Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 18
Nashville V. Arvidsson 26
Assists Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 29
Nashville R. Johansen 45
Saves Player  
Los Angeles J. Quick 894
Nashville P. Rinne 1141
Quickchart Matchup
Los Angeles Off vs  Nashville Def
2.39 GF
2.61 GA
28.7 Shots
29.8 Shots
25 PP
36 PK
Nashville Off vs  Los Angeles Def
3.06 GF
3.05 GA
33 Shots
31.4 Shots
26 PP
43 PK