NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 17th
(All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (20-11-3) at Edmonton Oilers (15-14-4), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Fresh off their best offensive output of the season, the
Nashville Predators start up a key three-game road trip with tonight's clash
with the Edmonton Oilers from Rexall Place.
Nashville enters this trek, which also includes stops in Calgary and
Vancouver, off a 7-4 home rout of Tampa Bay on Tuesday, one day after the
Preds dealt Columbus a 5-3 defeat at the Sommet Center.
David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist each recorded a goal and an assist to lead
a balanced scoring attack against the Lightning and help Nashville win for the
fourth time in five games. The Predators have gone 12-3-2 since November 13
and now sit just two points off Chicago's lead atop the Central Division.
Nashville trailed Tampa Bay 2-1 after one period before erupting for five
unanswered goals in the second to forge ahead. Goaltender Pekka Rinne made the
lead stand by stopping 30 shots on the night.
"We got contributions throughout the lineup -- every line on our team got a
goal [Tuesday]," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz afterward. "Hats off to
[our players], they responded in the second period right off the bat and
opened the floodgates."
Martin Erat and Ryan Jones also had goals in Tuesday's triumph to maintain
their recent hot stretches. Erat now has scored seven times over his past
seven games, while Jones has lit the lamp in each of the Predators' last three
Edmonton has also been playing well of late, having ripped off a season-best
five straight wins -- all on the road -- to start December before being edged
by Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Tuesday at Rexall Place. The Kings
skated away to a 3-2 decision on Sean O'Donnell's tie-breaking goal with 4:33
remaining in regulation.
"We cut some corners [Tuesday] and we tried to take a little bit of the easy
road," said Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray. "We haven't played like that for
a while. We've been playing harder than that. We didn't stink up the joint,
but we definitely took some shortcuts and it cost us the game."
Both Souray and Ryan Potulny had a goal and an assist in the loss, while
Edmonton goaltender Jeff Deslauriers finished with 23 saves.
The defeat came in the opener of a four-game homestand for the Oilers.
Edmonton is 8-6-2 as the host for the season, but has dropped each of its last
three tests (0-2-1) at Rexall Place.
Nashville has had its share of success in this series in recent years, having
prevailed in 11 of its past 13 meetings with Edmonton. However, the Oilers
handed the Predators a lopsided 6-1 loss in the Music City back on October 12,
with Deslauriers making 40 saves and Zack Stortini scoring twice for the
The Predators have won in five of their last six trips to Edmonton, though.
12/17 10:44:37 ET