NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 22nd (All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (10-8-2) at Nashville Predators (10-5-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - While the Oilers continue to sit near the top of the Northwest Division, their recent play on the road has raised some concerns.
The Predators have no such worries playing at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville looks to hand Edmonton a fifth straight road defeat this evening while running its home point streak to seven straight games.
The Predators, three points back of first place in the Central standings, have been on a points surge as of late, going 7-1-3 in their last 11 games. They have been solid at home in that span with a 4-0-2 mark in the last six.
Nashville is coming off an overtime loss to Columbus on Saturday in the fourth of a five-game residency, getting goals from Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Nick Spaling before the Blue Jackets' James Wisniewski netted the game-winner at 2:43 of the extra frame.
The Preds fell to 3-0-2 in their last five games.
"We've got to sustain it a little bit more offensively with a little more urgency in some of our situations, but both teams played well," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz.
Trotz will continue to try and find plenty of ice time for captain Shea Weber, who had two assists to give him six points in his last four games. Weber has also been on the ice for each of Nashville's last 12 goals, the first player to accomplish that since Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer was present for 14 consecutive goals from March 31-April 6, 2010.
Nashville also got a boost on Saturday by the return of David Legwand. He has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury and notched an assist, giving him a team high-tying 15 points.
Edmonton, meanwhile, has lost four in a row on the road and began a four-game road swing last night with a 4-1 setback to the Stars. The Oilers were coming off a 9-2 home win over the Blackhawks on Saturday, but suffered a letdown in Dallas.
"I don't think we handled this game very well," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. "We just weren't ready for them and didn't measure up at all tonight."
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had five assists in the win over Chicago, scored Edmonton's only goal, while Nikolai Khabibulin allowed three goals on 34 shots.
The Oilers have been outscored 19-7 over their road skid and are 3-6-1 as the guest this season. By comparison, they are 7-2-1 as the host, helping them sit five points back of first place in the Northwest Division.
"We've got to find a way to be harder on the road. Our forecheck is really soft right now," said Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff. "We're not doing a great job of getting in and trying to turn pucks over and as a result we're playing in our own end way too much."
Horcoff had three assists in Edmonton's 3-1 home win over Nashville on Oct. 17, the club's third victory in the past four meetings. Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall and Ryan Jones all scored and Khabibulin needed to make only 11 saves.
Sergei Kostitsyn had the only goal for Nashville, which went 0-for-5 on the power play in the loss but is still 16-4-1 in its past 21 versus Edmonton. Pekka Rinne, who made 25 saves versus Columbus on Saturday, turned aside 22 shots versus the Oilers.
Both Ales Hemsky and Darcy Hordichuk are slated to play in their 500th NHL game tonight for Edmonton, which has only three wins and a tie in its last 14 trips to Nashville.
11/22 12:17:52 ET