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
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
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
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
Avery's goal was set up by rookie Joe Corvo, a healthy scratch
the previous five games after serving a team-imposed three-game
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
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Arena: STAPLES Center Location: Los Angeles, California
Referees: Tim Peel, Kelly Sutherland Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Derek Nansen