Series (Game 1 of 4)

Los Angeles leads 3-0

Game 1: Wednesday, November 19th
Game 2: Thursday, December 11th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 13th
Game 4: Monday, February 23rd

Predators 0

(7-9-0, 15 pts)

Kings 3

(9-6-1, 20 pts)

10:30 PM ET, November 19, 2003

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 0 00
LA 2 1 03

R. Cechmanek (Kings - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: 1.000

A. Miller (Kings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

A. Frolov (Kings - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Kings score on two of first four shots

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Roman Cechmanek's save total is much more important to the Los Angeles Kings than the way he goes about stopping pucks.

Cechmanek posted a shutout for his 100th NHL victory, turning aside 30 shots and helping the Kings end the Nashville Predators' three-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory Wednesday night.

"Stopping the puck is the only style that matters," Kings defenseman Aaron Miller said. "He certainly was our best player tonight, so you obviously want to try and help him get the shutout. He's going to be the difference for our team. We going to go as far as that guy will take us."

The shutout was the 23rd of Cechmanek's career and third this season. He had six shutouts last season, with the second-best goals-against average in the NHL (1.83) and third-best save percentage (.925).

Much of the time Cechmanek is either on his knees, or out of position, or giving up rebounds, or flopping around the crease.

"No matter who's in goal for us, whenever anybody on the other team takes a shot, my heart's in my throat," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "I've coached a lot of different types of goaltenders, and the only thing that's important is that the puck stays out. His numbers speak for themselves."

The Kings got goals from Kip Brennan, Sean Avery and Michael Cammalleri. Brennan, playing his 28th NHL game, scored his first goal at 4:47 of the second period.

Coming off their first shutout loss of the season, the Kings scored on two of their first four shots against Tomas Vokoun -- who was replaced by backup Chris Mason for 42 seconds before returning to the ice.

"I was just trying to slow things down," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. When you're down 2-0, you can come back and get the next goal and get back into the game. I was just trying to get everyone's attention on the bench and settle things down without taking a timeout."

Avery got the Kings going at 4:03 of the first, scoring on his own rebound after Vokoun failed to control the bouncing puck while on his stomach. Cammalleri scored at 6:37 of the period with a wrist shot from the right circle that changed direction off the leg of Nashville defenseman Jamie Allison and fluttered over Vokoun's left shoulder.

The Kings did not record another shot for more than 17 minutes. But Brennan made it 3-0 when he stationed himself to the left of Vokoun and tipped Lubomir Visnovsky's wrist shot from the slot through the goalie's legs.

"Kip's a hard-nosed guy, and it was nice to see him get in the lineup and get his first National Hockey League goal," Murray said. "It was nice to see us get some goals from guys who don't normally score."

Cammalleri was recalled on Monday to replace center Derek Armstrong, who will be sidelined at least eight weeks after breaking a finger Saturday. Cammalleri scored four goals in his last five games with Manchester of the AHL.

"I just had the mind-set to go down there, work hard, get into top shape and take advantage of my time there to become the best player I could become," said Cammalleri, who missed the Kings' first eight games because of a knee injury. "It's not easy coming back from an injury, but think I came back really strong and I feel great."

Avery's goal was set up by rookie Joe Corvo, a healthy scratch the previous five games after serving a team-imposed three-game suspension.

Game notes

Trotz pulled Vokoun after a penalty to Eric Belanger to get a second extra attacker with 3:41 to play. But the Predators did not get a shot on net. Marek Zidlicky's slap shot from the left point hit the post with 2:25 left. ... Brennan recorded 101 penalty minutes in the NHL before getting his first goal ... RW Scott Walker, who scored in the final minute of regulation in three of Nashville's previous four games, sat out because of a groin strain. ... The Predators, who entered averaging a league-high 23.4 penalty minutes per game, got only two minor penalties -- both against Zidlicky.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press