Saturday 6th January 2018

Event of the Day

Our event of the day is the NHL match between the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Both teams currently sit in the playoff positions, the Kings have 53 points from 41 games, while the Predators have 52 points, but they have played one game less. This is the first home match for Los Angeles in nine days, after three games on the road in Canada – they won the first two against the Vancouver Canucks (4-3) and the Edmonton Oilers (5-0), before losing 4-3 away to the Calgary Flames on Thursday. 
Tonight will be Nashville’s third in a row away from home, so far they have recorded two defeats to the Vegas Golden Knights (3-0) and to the Arizona Coyotes (3-2 after overtime). These rivals played a thrilling game in Los Angeles in November – the Kings rallied from a three-goal deficit in the last third, before the Predators eventually won it in overtime. Los Angeles are excellent in defending as they allow the least number of goals per game in the league – 2.32 and they hold the league’s best penalty kill percentage of 87.8%. Centre Anže Kopitar is 12th in the league on points – 17 goals and 26 assists, while defenceman Drew Doughty is third best in the plus-minus category with 22. Nashville’s defenceman Alexei Emelin has a perfect 100% of face-offs won, but left winger Filip Forsberg, scorer of nine power play goals so far this season, is unavailable following an upper-body injury. It should be another exciting duel at the Staples Center.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Atlanta Falcons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. This is a wild card round match of the postseason playoffs. The rams won the NFC West with a 11-5 record and have home advantage against the Falcons who were third in the NFC South, but secured the wild card with a 10-6 record. Another NFL wild card clash sees the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. In the Big Bash League, the Melbourne Stars take on the Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a Melbourne derby. It’s Day 3 of the 5th Test of the 2017-18 Ashes series between Australia and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Also in cricket, it’s the second day of the 1st Test of the Freedom Trophy series between South Africa and India at Newlands in Cape Town; whilst New Zealand and Pakistan play their 1st ODI at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. In golf, it’s Day 3 of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii. It’s Day 7 at the Brisbane International ATP and WTA tournament at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Tennyson; and the final day at the Hopman Cup at the Perth Arena in Perth. In Premiership Rugby, Sale Sharks host Harlequins at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford. In the NBA, the Detroit Pistons welcome the Houston Rockets to Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NHL

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