Predators survive scare from the Kings to win in OT
LOS ANGELES – The Nashville Predators wasted a late three-goal lead. Roman Josi quickly made certain that defensive lapse didn't spoil the day.
Josi scored 18 seconds into overtime after Pekka Rinne gave up three goals in the final 2:01 of regulation, and the Predators eked out a wild 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
"It was definitely not the ending we planned," Josi said. "We were up 6-3 with a couple of minutes to go. You want to win that game in regulation. It was a good job by our team staying with it, but we have to do a better job at the end."
Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson scored goals 1:22 apart in the first period, Mattias Ekholm and Mark Acrobello scored 1:41 apart in the second, and the Predators also got goals from Ryan Ellis and Olli Jokinen in opening a 5-1 lead.
"If it ends 6-3, you like everything about the game," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "You don't like the fact that they scored three goals to tie it up and bring it into overtime for us to win it. But at the end of the day, it's two points, and there was an answer to the three goals they scored."
The Predators overtook the idle Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead, scoring on three of their first nine shots against Jonathan Quick and chasing him to the bench after Ellis' power play goal gave Nashville a 3-1 lead at 9:43 of the opening period.
•TIP THE CAP FOR JAGR: Jaromir Jagr scored three times to spark a rare offensive outburst by the Devils as they beat the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. It was Jagr's 15th career hat trick and first since March 26, 2006. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jagr, who turns 43 next month, is the oldest player in NHL history to record a hat trick. The previous oldest was Gordie Howe, who did so at 41 years, 216 days on Nov. 2, 1969. Jagr has 714 goals and is only three behind Phil Esposito in fifth place all-time.
•TRAVEL TROUBLES: The NHL Players' Association is investigating whether the Philadelphia Flyers violated the collective bargaining agreement by traveling during a holiday break. Rogers Sportsnet in Toronto reported online flight records showed the Flyers took a flight from Philadelphia to Nashville the night of Dec. 26. Players are barred from traveling or practicing from Dec. 24-26 under the collective bargaining agreement.
•STILL STREAKING: The Canadians are now 16-0 when scoring first after securing a 4-1 win over the host Penguins in the 200th regular-season meeting between the two teams. It was the seventh consecutive win and fifth road victory in a row for Montreal, which improved to 9-2 against Metropolitan Division teams.
• QUITE THE RUN: Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash scored power-play goals 2:32 apart in the first period, and the surging New York Rangers rolled to a 6-1 victory over the slumping visiting Buffalo Sabres. Brassard, Boyle, Nash and Martin St. Louis all had two points.
•NOTHING LITTLE: Winnipeg center Bryan Little had a goal and two assists to stretch his point streak to six games to aid the Jets in their 5-1 victory over the visiting Maple Leafs. Little has 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 38 games this season.
•LIGHT ON POWER: The Ottawa Senators haven't scored in their last 19 power plays dating to Dec. 19, which included two 5-on-3 chances Saturday, but they pulled out the 3-2 win over the host Bruins in overtime.