Nashville Predators (39-14-9) (1st, Central)
Edmonton Oilers (27-32-4) (6th, Pacific)
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: On The Forecheck
Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to San Jose was a tale of two teams. The Sharks looked like a team that was headed for the playoffs, the Oilers looked like a team that sold off all their expiring assets. Evander Kane had two assists for his new team while five different Sharks helped San Jose topple the Oilers by three goals. Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi had goals for the Oilers. Pontus Aberg had his first point in his first game since being traded.
The Oilers host the leaders of the Central Division tonight when Nashville comes to town.
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
I don’t think we had the energy level we needed to play against this team tonight... When you don’t have it, you can still give yourself a chance to win. I think we did that in the first. I don’t think we did that in the second at all. Brought a lot of pucks back into our own end, played right into their forecheck game.
That’s Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on how a lack of team energy might have cost teh game in San Jose.
Way to engage Lucic. Take a seat pic.twitter.com/SMcLWU3xqa— Justin Lavallee (@jblavs) February 28, 2018
The Predators are saying
“He was great. I thought even before he scored that goal, he was really good. He was hard on the forecheck. He made a lot of good plays, had a lot of shots. I thought he played great and obviously, he topped it off with the game-winner.”
That’s Predators defenceman Roman Josi on new Predator Ryan Hartman.
Hartman was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in Monday’s trade deadline. He finished with the game winner in thirteen and a half minutes of ice.
Have some of this
- Pontus Aberg will face off against his former club tonight. He’s got one point in one game with the Oilers that came by way of a primary assist to Jesse Puljujarvi.
- I’ve ridden Milan Lucic for some time now, but zero goals since Christmas is a terrible number. How do you fix this? The desert is great, Milan. Think of being far away from the difficult press conferences. You can reinvent your game in Arizona. Sand!
- Ethan Bear was recalled by the Oilers as Kris Russell had a question mark about a hand injury. Russell and Bear did not play, it was Auvitu and Benning on the right side. Does any of that change tonight?
- Connor McDavid needs 25 points in 19 games to reach 100 points in back-to-back seasons.
- The Predators, they’re pretty good. They’re eighth overall in goals scored per game (3.18), they're fourth in goals against (2.50). They're also a robust 4th overall on the power play (23.2). Not too bad.
- Look for Cam Talbot to get the start tonight against the Predators (22-24-2, .903 SV% / 3.11 GAA / 1 SO) while Pekka Rinne (33-9-4, .927 SV% / 2.33 GAA / 6 SO) is likely for the Predators.
- The Oilers are without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (ribs), though I'd expect to see him sooner than later. Kris Russell was held out of last game with an upper body injury, while Zack Kassian was out with a leg injury. The Predators have no one listed on their injury report.