NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 1st
(All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (32-23-8) at Edmonton Oilers (20-35-8), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Given that they have the fewest points in the NHL, it
wasn't a surprise that the Oilers were involved in the biggest trade prior to
The Nashville Predators certainly don't mind Edmonton dealing away one of its
top offensive threats.
The Predators continue their fight for a playoff spot this evening at Rexall
Place against the Oilers, who take to the ice just one day after the trade of
forward Dustin Penner.
Nashville snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 3-2 win over
Columbus, its 16th straight home victory over the Blue Jackets. The two points
gave the Predators 72 on the season and have them tied with the Stars and Wild
for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Ducks are also just
one point back in the tight race.
All three of the Preds' goals on Sunday came in the third period, including
David Legwand's winner with 1:35 to play. Shea Weber added a goal and an
assist and fellow defenseman Jonathon Blum netted his first NHL goal in his
fourth career game.
"Columbus played extremely well. I thought we played really well. You've got
to battle through things," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "Guys are
blocking shots, getting hit, playing tired, all those types of things. There's
a lot of emotion as you saw at the end. It's playoff hockey. It's great.
Pekka Rinne made 25 saves for the Predators, who begin a four-game road trip
tonight and have lost five of their last six as the visiting club.
Weber and company won't have to worry about trying to shut down Penner, who
was tied for the club lead with 21 goals but was dealt to the Kings on Monday
for 21-year-old defensive prospect Colten Teubert and two draft picks,
including a 2011 first-round selection.
Penner had spent the last three-plus season with the Oilers after beginning
his career with Anaheim and had career bests with 32 goals, 31 assists and 63
points last year.
"He's been great here. I think he's done a great job over the last couple
years for sure," center Andrew Cogliano said of Penner. "He's been out top
scorer. For him, it's good. He's going to a team where they're in a playoff
hunt, he's familiar with some of the guys on the team, so I'm happy for him
and hopefully he does a good job."
Edmonton dropped a 3-2 decision to Boston on Sunday, with Ales Hemsky and
Gilbert Brule netting the goals. Brule was returning to the lineup after
missing 27 of the previous 30 games due to an illness.
Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves for the Oilers, who were outshot 40-17 and remain
last in the NHL with 48 points.
"They're a pretty good team, but we competed and we didn't let numbers bother
us in terms of shots on goal or chances against or anything like that," said
Oilers head coach Tom Renney.
Dubnyk owns just one career shutout and it came versus the Predators on Feb. 7
after he made 37 saves in a 4-0 victory. Penner had a goal in that victory,
just Edmonton's third in its last 18 meetings with Nashville.
The Oilers have also dropped four straight and eight of their last nine at
home to the Predators and have dropped the first two of a four-game homestand.
Edmonton has lost nine of its last 12 at home overall.
Rinne is 6-2-0 in his career versus the Oilers despite a 3.34 goals-against
03/01 10:55:34 ET