NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- What the Los Angeles Kings already have, the Nashville Predators want.

By beating Los Angeles 5-2 Monday night at sold-out Bridgestone Arena, Nashville took a big step toward joining the Kings in the Western Conference playoff field, perhaps even pairing with them in the first round to boot.

In picking up at least one point for the 17th time in 19 games, the Predators (37-23-13) broke the scoring seal with three second-period markers, then held off a furious third-period rally with clutch penalty-killing and a timely goal by center Ryan Johansen.

"There's a lot of possibilities and we still have (nine) games left," Nashville center Mike Fisher said. "I thought we came out with a purpose tonight and played really hard. They gave us all we wanted at the end, but we executed really well."

After a physical first period filled with hits -- 29 overall, 18 by Los Angeles -- and a combined 21 shots on net, the Predators took command with a sustained flurry that knocked out goalie Jonathan Quick before the third period began.

Right winger James Neal started the barrage at 7:37 with his 28th goal, beating Quick with a wrister from the top of the left faceoff circle off a clean faceoff win by Johansen.

"You always want to get the first one and go from there," Neal said. "I thought the big thing was we were able to keep it going. We disrupted their offense; we got to a lot of pucks."

Following a botched line change by the Kings that cost them a minor penalty for too many men on the ice -- they had seven at one point before the whistle blew -- Fisher made it 2-0 with a power-play marker at 13:17. He followed his shot and poked the rebound into an open net for his 12th tally.

Left winger Filip Forsberg capped the outburst with a backhand score from the left goalpost at 15:23, making him the fifth player in franchise history with 30 goals and putting him within three of tying the franchise record set by Jason Arnott.

But Los Angeles predictably bounced back, silencing the audience of 17,113 with two goals in the third period's first eight minutes. Left winger Tanner Pearson tipped a point blast from defenseman Drew Doughty by goalie Pekka Rinne 32 seconds into the period to notch his 14th goal, followed by a wrister from the point by Alec Martinez for his 10th marker.

However, Johansen blunted the Kings' momentum by deflecting a point shot from defenseman Shea Weber past backup goalie Jhonas Enroth at 11:45, his 13th goal of the season.

"If you look at it, there are a lot of momentum swings in any game," Johansen said. "They're a great team and they were coming at us. That was a huge goal, no matter how you look at it."

Los Angeles still created chances to dent its two-goal deficit, earning a pair of power-play opportunities after Johansen's tally. But Nashville killed off those penalties, as well as another one earlier in the period, with some of its best shorthanded work of the season.

"I liked the quickness we had on pucks and the quickness that we had on battles," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of the penalty kill. "We were able to get clears 200 feet a few times."

Defenseman Roman Josi capped the scoring with an empty-netter at 19:31 for Nashville, which drew within four points of Chicago in the Central Division and denied the Kings (44-23-5) a chance to establish a six-point lead over Anaheim in the Pacific Division.

"The second period, we turned the pucks over a little bit and gave them off-man rushes," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. "Our forwards had trouble getting to the net against their defense. Most of our chances came from up top from our defense."

Rinne finished with 28 saves on 30 shots in earning his 30th win of the season, while Quick stopped 24 of 27 shots. Enroth faced only two shots. NOTES: Los Angeles RW Kris Versteeg (foot) sat out after leaving Saturday night's win over Boston when he was struck by a shot. ... Nashville LW Eric Nystrom (foot) returned to the lineup after sitting out the last 23 games after D Shea Weber hit him with a slap shot in Vancouver Jan. 26. ... The Kings scratched D Jamie McBain, while LW Austin Watson was the lone Predators scratch. ... Nashville honored C Mike Fisher in pregame ceremonies for playing his 1,000th NHL game on March 3.