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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Nashville Predators

The Oilers look to get back into the win column after a tough loss against the Wild

NHL: Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (42-26-6, 2nd, Pacific)

Nashville Predators (42-26-5, 4th, Central)

14 April 2022

Bridgestone Arena

6 PM MT

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: On The Forecheck

THUD

The Oilers were soundly beaten in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala each had a pair of goals for the Wild, while Frederick Gaudreau got the party started in the first. Leon Draisaitl salvaged a power play goal early in the third for Edmonton, but this was was no bueno for the Oilers. They’ll look to forget all about Tuesday as they’re in Nashville to take on the Predators. Can the Oilers get back to scoring goals?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Today wasn’t our finest hour...We didn’t come away with any points in a tough building. We can play better.”

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That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft after his club’s 5-1 loss to the Wild on Tuesday.

It didn’t get ugly for the Oilers until the second period, but they’ll want to flush this one from their minds. Edmonton can inch closer to a playoff berth with two points in Nashville tonight.

THE PREDATORS ARE SAYING

“We’re wearing them down throughout the game, spent a lot of time in the [offensive] zone and we figured we’d get a break if we kept going. Got a lucky bounce there at the end, and we’ll take it.”

Source

That’s Predators forward Ryan Johansen. Johansen was the lone goal scorer in his club’s 1-0 OT win against the Sharks on Tuesday.

Sometimes, you just need one goal. The Predators will enjoy those two points they picked up, as they’re fighting for their playoff lives in the Western Conference. Nashville is jockeying for position with Dallas in the Wild Card race right now. The Predators (89 points) and Stars (88 points) would secure Wild Card berths if the season were to end today, it’s Vegas (85 points) who needs to do some catching up if they’re going to see the second season.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • ROMAN JOSI SEASON: Defenceman Roman Josi is making a killing for the Predators this season. It’s easy to lose sight of some of the league’s best players when two of them are in Edmonton, but Josi’s 87 point season (19-68-87) is already the highest single season point total in Predators history. He’s not seeing quite as much time against top lines this season, but he’s consistently a top player in the league at his position.
  • Juuse Saros is likely to start for the Predators tonight (36-22-3, .922 SV% / 2.50 GAA / 4 SO). I’d expect the Oilers to turn back to Mike Smith (11-9-2, .903 SV% / 3.19 GAA) seeing as how it’s been a couple of games since his last start. Smith has been playing well as of late, so if he wants to crank out another 36 save performance, that’d be very good for the Oilers
  • DRYING UP: The goals are gone. Bring back some goals for us tonight. Oiler goals, if you’d please. Oilers have scored just one goal in each of their last two games, a fair bit less than their four and five goal outbursts from the week previous.
  • The Predators have a trio of players with 70+ points. One is Josi, the other two are Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene. Ryan Johansen and and Filip Forsberg team up on the top line, while Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund patrol the second with 2017 first rounder Eeli Tolvanen. The Oilers will have their hands full keeping Nashville’s top six off the scoreboard tonight.
  • Including tonight, the Oilers have eight games remaining in the regular season. Three wins probably gets it done to put a stamp on the playoffs, though four or five would be pretty good too. A win tonight followed by a home game against Vegas could make the last six games nearly procedural.