Patric Hornqvist and Steve Sullivan each scored and remained tied for the team lead in goals, but the Nashville Predators allowed a goal in the opening minute of play and never led in a 5-4 loss to the Ducks at Anaheim on Sunday.
The teams entered the contest tied in the Western Conference standings with 13 points each and were tied on the scoreboard four different times throughout the contest.
Anaheim (7-7-1) finally got the game-winner with 1.7 seconds to play as Paul Mara converted against a scrambling Nashville defense. Mara, a 34-year-old defenseman, drove to the left post and converted a feed from teammate Bobby Ryan, whose crossing pass squeezed under defenseman Shea Weber.
It was Mara’s first goal of the year.
Nashville (5-5-3) lost its fifth straight overall – all in regulation – and its fourth straight on the road.
Cal O’Reilly evened things for the final time when he made it 4-4 with 3:47 to play in regulation. O’Reilly also had an assist and raised his team-leading point total to 11 (two goals, nine assists).
Hornqvist and Sullivan, who play on the same line with O’Reilly, each tied the game in the first period when both got their fifth of the season. Hornqvist made it 1-1 with a deflection 2:34 into the contest and Sullivan made it 2-2 on a breakaway with 2:44 to go before the first intermission.
Defenseman Cody Franson assisted on O’Reilly’s goal and scored one of his own, which made it 3-3 at 6:15 of the final period.
Goalie Anders Lindback made his first start since Oct. 24 and ended up with his first regulation loss. He made 32 saves as the Predators were outshot 37-24 and fell to 3-1-1 in his first NHL season.
The Predators conclude a stretch of five consecutive road games Thursday at St. Louis.
Los Angeles 4, Nashville 1
No visiting team has defeated the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center this season.
The Nashville Predators on Saturday became the latest to try. They did not even come close.
Goalie Pekka Rinne allowed two goals in each of the first two periods and Nashville’s current losing streak reached four games with a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles.
It matched the Predators’ largest margin of defeat this season. They have had eight games decided by a single goal and have not won since Oct. 24 at Tampa Bay.
Nashville avoided a shutout when defenseman Shane O’Brien scored with 2:24 remaining, It was his first goal for the Predators.
Rinne was pulled after he allowed the fourth goal, to Jarrett Stoll, at 10:47 of the second period. He made 18 saves on 22 shots.
Anders Lindback replaced Rinne and stopped all eight shots he saw. He faced just three shots over the remainder of the second period and only five more in the third.
Nashville (5-4-3), which had won its previous five games (and 12 of 22 all-time) at Los Angeles, got a team-high six shots from defenseman Shea Weber but were outshot 31-26 for the contest.
The Kings (10-3-0) improved to 6-0-0 at home and became the first NHL team this season with 10 victories. They won for the sixth time in their last seven outings.
Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist, and Justin Williams had a pair of assists for Los Angeles.