LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ryan Jones scored the go-ahead goal with
2:18 remaining, Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, and J.P.
Dumont had two assists, leading the Nashville Predators to a 4-3
victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
With their eighth victory in 11 games, the Predators overtook
Dallas and Edmonton in the Western Conference playoff race and
moved into seventh place. They are a point ahead of the Stars,
and lead the ninth-place Oilers by two with 12 games remaining.
Dallas has a game in hand on Nashville, and Edmonton has two.
Anze Kopitar, Teddy Purcell and Michal Handzus scored for the
Kings, who have lost three straight.
Los Angeles will bring a six-game road losing streak into Boston
on Thursday, starting a six-game trip that probably will decide
their playoff chances. The 13th-place Kings are six points
behind eighth-place Dallas.
On the winning goal, Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis barely
kept the puck inside the Kings blue line before taking a slap
shot that Jones tipped in the low slot. Erik Ersberg couldn't
control the rebound and went sprawling across the crease as
Jones backhanded his seventh goal under Ersberg's flailing arm.
Steve Sullivan put Nashville ahead 3-2 at 18:10 of the second
period with his eighth goal, but Handzus tied it with 10:07 left
The Predators, who came in with the NHL's second-worst
power-play percentage, took a 2-1 lead at 1:24 of the second
while on the advantage.
Ward was left unchecked at the left of the net when he got a
cross-ice pass from Dumont and tucked his 12th goal between
Ersberg's outstretched leg and the post.
Purcell tied it at 16:25 of the second during a Kings' power
After coming up empty on two power plays, the Kings opened the
scoring at 14:42 of the first period with Kopitar's 25th goal
and sixth in eight games. Dustin Brown's wrist shot from the top
of the left circle hit the left post and caromed to the other
side of the crease, where Kopitar banked the rebound off rookie
goalie Pekka Rinne's body.
Nashville tied it with 15 seconds left in the first period on
Shea Weber's 19th goal.