LOS ANGELES — Alex Iafallo scored the tiebreaking goal with 59 seconds to play, and the Los Angeles Kings blew a three-goal lead in the third period before winning their home opener under new coach Todd McLellan, 7-4 over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.
Iafallo got his first goal of the season on a rebound of Dustin Brown’s shot before Brown and Drew Doughty added empty-net goals seven seconds apart, sending the Kings to the 1,000th home victory in franchise history and a wild start to their 20th season at Staples Center.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Michael Amadio each had a goal and an assist while the Kings scored four consecutive goals spanning the first two periods. Captain Anze Kopitar and Kyle Clifford also scored during the barrage, but the Kings gave it away while Viktor Arvidsson, Matt Duchene and Colton Scissons scored in the first 11 1/2 minutes of the third period for the Preds.
Mikael Granlund also scored, while Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen had two assists apiece as Nashville opened a three-game West Coast trip with another big offensive performance, but big mistakes late. The Preds have scored 23 goals in their first five games.
Jack Campbell made 28 saves for Los Angeles, and Juuse Saros stopped 30 shots for Nashville.
The Kings are coming off the franchise’s worst season since 2007-08, but that team never gave up 21 goals in any four-game stretch, as these Kings have done to start the season under McLellan. But Los Angeles has been highly entertaining while scoring 18 goals in four games, an impressive turnaround for one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring teams last season.
Granlund put the Predators ahead 4:55 after the opening faceoff, but Amadio evened it with a rebound goal after Kovalchuk screened Saros and tipped a puck to the net by defenceman Sean Walker, who had two assists in an outstanding performance.
Clifford scored his first goal of the season early in the second period, and Kovalchuk made it 4-1 before Arvidsson got his third goal of the young season early in the third.
Duchene’s power-play goal with 9:04 left in regulation made it 4-3, and Scissons tied it 34 seconds later.
NOTES: Kings D Derek Forbort still hasn’t played this season due to an undisclosed injury. … Nashville D Dan Hamhuis returned to the lineup after sitting out two games. Matt Irwin was scratched.
Predators: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday in the second stop of their three-game trip.
Kings: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday in the second of five home games in eight days.
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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press