It seems like the two teams that never shoot play each other every other night. The Preds aren't good, even Barry Trotz admits that. The Oilers, much as they have since Chris Pronger was traded for magic beans, get curb stomped at even strength.
Oilers Report: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins draws back in, but Ralph Krueger leaves Jordan Eberle on Sam Gagner's wing and installs Ryan Smyth and Nail Yakupov on Hopkins' wings. It's a bit of an odd choice as the Paajarvi - Gagner - Yakupov line was clipping along at ~53% Fenwick over the last few weeks.
Predators Report: The Preds claimed two forwards off of waivers to try and replace Paul Gaustad and Patric Hornqvist, but Bobby Butler and Zach Boychuk aren't bringing much. Because of that, they've called up Taylor Beck from the AHL. Beck's a big guy with some OHL success and had 41 points in 50 games as a 21 year old in the AHL, so he's adjusted to the pro game well.
Expected Line Combinations
Taylor Hall - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky
Magnus Paajarvi - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Nail Yakupov
Mike Brown - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz
Mark Fistric - Corey Potter
Scratches: Lennart Petrell, Ryan Whitney, Theo Peckham
By The Numbers
Edmonton's expected lineup has scored 1177 career goals. 32% of those have been scored by Ryan Smyth.
Edmonton has dropped to 27th in Fenwick close at 44.8. Last season Edmonton finished the season with a 48.1 Fenwick close. Edmonton is worse, significantly worse this season at even strength.
Edmonton's special teams are keeping games close - the Oilers STE of 105.4 is 4th in the league.