LOS ANGELES — Jeff Carter completed his fifth career hat trick with two goals in a 19-second span of the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Monday night despite taking only 16 shots on net.
Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves and has won five consecutive starts for the first time in his NHL career, equaling his entire win total from last season in 16 games. The five-year veteran didn't play at all during the Kings' Stanley Cup championship run as Jonathan Quick captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP.
Mike Richards and Dwight King also scored during a four-goal third period and defenseman Slava Voynov had a career-high three assists.
Richards' goal, a one-timer from the right circle, came during a power play while Martin Erat was serving a boarding penalty. King's first of the season came on a centering pass from the right corner by Jarret Stoll.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was pulled after giving up five goals on 13 shots. The Predators outshot the Kings 13-6 through the first two periods.
Rinne, who led the league with 43 wins last season, stopped 56 of the 57 shots the Kings put on him during the first two meetings. The only goal he let in was by Brown in a 2-1 victory on Jan. 31 that was decided in an eight-round shootout.
The Predators won the first two meetings this season despite getting outshot 56-28.
Nashville's Craig Smith was off for high-sticking Dustin Brown when Carter opened the scoring in the second period. He chipped the puck away from Kevin Klein in the left circle and backhanded it toward the crease from a sharp angle before it slid under Rinne's right leg and off the goalie's left skate.
Carter made it 2-0 early in the third period after Colin Fraser set him up in front of the net. Moments later, he found himself on a breakaway after a turnover by Nashville defenseman Roman Josi at the red line, and a number of hats from the sellout crowd of 18,118 already had hit the ice before Carter tucked his 14th goal behind Rinne.
It was only the eighth shot on net by the Kings to that point.
Gabriel Bourque scored Nashville's goal with 6:55 to play. The Predators, who came in with a league-low 46 goals, haven't won a game in regulation since beating Phoenix 3-0 at home on Feb. 14.
Los Angeles went 15 minutes, 26 seconds before its first shot on net, a 30-foot backhander by King that Rinne kicked out with his right leg. The Kings had a season-low three shots during the opening period.
The Predators came in averaging a league-low 10 penalty minutes. But they have allowed eight goals in 16 short-handed situations over their last five games.
The Kings began a 12-game stretch in which they will play 10 times at home. They are 6-1-1 at Los Angeles, including the shootout loss to Nashville. Their only regulation loss at Staples Center was in their season opener against the Blackhawks, who have since set a NHL record to open a season with a current streak of 22 games without a regulation loss.
NOTES: The Kings' club record for fewest shots on net came on Oct. 28, 1997 with 12 in a 2-2 tie at Florida. ... Kings D Alec Martinez returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 11 after missing eight games because of an upper-body injury. ... Bernier's winning streak has stretched over the Kings' last 10 games. He is 7-1 against Nashville. ... The Predators were swept by all three California teams on the same road trip for the fifth time in franchise history.