NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 25th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (11-12-7) at Nashville Predators (13-13-6), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to win three in a row for
the first time in over six weeks when they host the Edmonton Oilers in
Monday's tilt at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville has slogged through the shortened season so far, posting a mediocre
13-13-6 record after 32 games. Still, the Predators, who have made the
postseason in three straight and seven of the last eight seasons, are only one
point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Predators' offense has displayed signs of life recently, as Nashville
scored five goals in consecutive games to begin a four-game homestand with a
Nashville recorded a 5-3 win over Calgary on Thursday and defeated Columbus by
a 5-2 count on Saturday, ending the Blue Jackets' club-record 12-game point
Taylor Beck had a goal and an assist to lead the way in the Predators' win
against Columbus. Shea Weber, David Legwand, Matt Halischuk and Roman Josi
each had a goal for the Predators, who are tied for 24th in the NHL in
goals per game (2.44).
"We forechecked well, we had a lot of detail to our game, we had a lot of
jump, and we kept them in their end pretty well," Preds head coach Barry Trotz
Pekka Rinne made 21 stops in the victory, improving his record to 12-10-5 this
season. The win also pushed Nashville's home record to 8-2-4.
Nashville is locked in a three-way tie for ninth place in the West with San
Jose and Columbus. The Sharks play Monday in Anaheim, while the Blue Jackets
The Oilers, meanwhile, have lost two straight and three of their last four
games and are in danger of missing the postseason for a seventh straight year.
Edmonton is currently sitting 13th in the West, four points out of a playoff
Edmonton went 1-1-2 on its recent four-game homestand and was dealt a 3-0 loss
by St. Louis in Saturday's finale. Jaroslav Halak posted his third shutout of
the season, stopping 19 shots for the Blues.
Nikolai Khabibulin allowed three goals on 25 shots for Edmonton, which has
been shut out in three of its last eight games.
"We're going to have to leave that behind us, that wasn't the effort we
needed. We really seemed out of sync and they came in here and you've got to
give them credit. They took it to us and we didn't play nearly the style and
type of hockey that we have lately that's made us successful," Oilers center
Shawn Horcoff said.
The Oilers carry a two-game road winning streak into Monday's game, but the
club is still only 6-7-3 as the away team this season.
Edmonton has played the last two games without forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,
who has been battling flu-like symptoms. The first overall pick of the 2011
NHL draft is with the team in Nashville and is questionable for Monday.
The Oilers and Preds have split a pair of meetings this season, with each team
winning a game on home ice. Edmonton has claimed two of three and four of the
last six encounters in this series overall and Nashville has lost three of
five matchups on home ice.
03/25 10:54:11 ET