Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Predators dethrone Kings, take charge in the playoff race


Ryan Jones scored the go-ahead goal with 2 minutes, 18 seconds remaining and Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, 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.

Anze Kopitar, Teddy Purcell and Michal Handzus scored for the Kings, who have lost three straight.


In Atlanta, Georgia, Kari Lehtonen made a career-high 49 saves, while Slava Kozlov and Tobias Enstrom each had a goal and an assist to help Atlanta win a team-record sixth straight game.

Washington, who rank second in the Eastern Conference and are tied for third overall with 229 goals, had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Lehtonen, who faced a career-high 50 shots, nearly earned his third shutout in five starts, but Eric Fehr spoiled the bid with 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining when he swept in his 11th goal.

Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer and the reigning MVP, was held without a point for the first time in 11 games and the second time in 22.

Colby Armstrong and rookie Anssi Salmela, with his first NHL goal, also scored for the Thrashers.

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