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Game Recap: Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators - Maybe Cover That James Guy

Oilers squander a pair of leads as Neal's hat-trick sinks the Oilers.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an ugly couple of weeks for the Oilers in terms of giving up goals immediately after scoring one. Columbus scored within a minute of each Oiler goal, and Nashville followed that up by doing the same.

The Oilers got off to a slow start, getting out shot 5-0 early on in the first period. When the Oilers finally did get a shot, they put it in the back of the net as McDavid stole the puck and fed Eberle for a tap in. James Neal responded shortly after for the Preds. The remainder of the period saw the Oilers nearly even up the shot clock, with the Preds holding a 9-7 advantage.

The second period saw the Oilers score early as Iiro Pakarinen buried a Draisaitl feed after the big German did some great board work. winning the puck battle down low and getting it out front. This lead didn't even last the goal announcement as Neal once again tied the game on a long wrister through a screen that beat Broissoit high. The rest of the period saw the Oilers outshoot the Predators 12-9, including a Kassian breakaway that he failed to convert on.

Neal finished off his hat trick in the 3rd, whipping another wrist shot high over Broissoit, giving the Preds a 3-2 lead that they'd nurse to the end of the game. The Oilers had a couple of chances to tie it, the best on a 4th line shift that saw 3 Oilers crashing for a loose puck in the crease that they couldn't convert on.

As tired as everyone is of morale victories, this was a game where the Oilers probably played well enough to win. Neal put two long shots in perfect spots and this game might be different with a bit of luck falling the Oilers way. The trend of giving up goals shortly after they score them is worrisome though. It's weeks like the last couple where you can once again see the promise in this team, but also see how far they still need to go.