The Nashville Predators started with an intense first period, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, and then played out the rest of the game in average fashion to complete a 5-3 victory and move to fourth place in the Western Conference with 59 points.
The Preds were led in scoring by Ryan Jones who had a goal and two assists. Patric Hornqvist had the game winner along with an assist. Shea Weber, Marcel Goc, and J. P. Dumont all had a goal and an assist to round out the Predator scoring.
Edmonton had goals from Jean-Francois Jacques, Ryan Potulny, and Dustin Penner.
Pekka Rinne held on for the win in net, stopping 38 of 41 shots from the Edmonton barrage.
The Predators got off to the quick start that they needed to insure that Edmonton did not gain confidence and that the victory starved Oiler crowd did not have an opportunity to get into the game.
The Preds broke through quickly at 4:49 when they were working the puck thought the offensive zone when Ryan Jones passed the puck to Shea Weber near the blue line who fired the puck past Jeff Deslauriers to give the Predators an early 1-0 lead.
Before the crowd settled back into their seats, the Predators were back on the move near the Oiler net. Patric Hornqvist moved the puck out to the point to Shea Weber who unloaded again. Marcel Goc picked up the rebound and quickly back-handed it into the net to give the Preds a 2-0 lead.
At 19:02 the Predators continued to work the zone and Kevin Klein fired the puck at the net and missed. Ryan Jones deflected the puck to J P Dumont behind the net who made a wrap-around move to slip the puck into the right side of the net past Deslauriers again to bring the score to 3-0 to end the period.
The Oilers out shot the Predators 13-11 in the first period but the difference was Pekka Rinne who was perfect in net. The Preds led on the Corsi side 23-22 and appeared to be far more aggressive during the initial period. There were no penalties on either team.
The Predators continued their aggressive play when Patic Hornqvist picked up his team leading 18th goal at 6:40 on a quick wrister with an assist going to Marcel Goc to give the Preds a 4-0 lead. The goal brought an end to the evening for Jeff Deslauriers who was replaced by Devan Dubnyk. For the game, Deslauriers stopped 10 of 14 shots.
Dubnyk finished the period stopping the only three shots the Preds had. For the Period the Oilers out shot the Preds 16-6. The margin was an even more lopsided 28-13 on Corsi shots as Edmonton was desperately trying to get back into the game as the Predator defense was becoming increasingly lackadaisical.
The Predators did not regain their early intensity as the third period started. At 7:20 into the period Pekka Rinne's shut out was spoiled on a goal by Jean-Francois Jacques after a defensive break down in front of the net.
At 10:43, the Preds appeared to have regained a four point margin on a tip by J. P. Dumont, but the goal was waived off and confirmed by video review as no goal.
At 13:02 Patric Hornqvist was called for slashing which led to an Oiler power play goal by Ryan Potulny at 14:29 that drew Edmonton within two at 4-2.
Thirty seconds later Ethan Moreau was called for hooking to put the Preds on the man advantage. As time expired on the power play Ryan Jones took a pass through the slot from J. P. Dumont and poked it past Dubynk to give the Preds a 5-3 lead.
As the period wound down, the play got sloppier and Marty Erat was called for hooking at 18:49. At 19:26, as the Preds tried to kill the penalty, they received a bench minor for too many men on the ice giving the Oilers a five on three advantage. With 21 seconds left, Dustin Penner scored the power play goal to make the final score 5-3.
Storylines From The Game
Predators Win Despite an Uneven Effort...
The Predators started like gang-busters on offense and defense but seemed to get away from what they were doing so successfully in the first period as Edmonton came on strong in the final two periods and out shot the Preds 41-28 for the game. The Preds only had six shots in the second period. You had a feeling at the end that if the game had a few extra minutes that the Oilers would have had a chance to win.
Contributions From A Wide Variety of Players...
After playing an intense game in Vancouver 22 1/2 hours earlier, Barry Trotz shortened the shifts and gave additional playing time to several Preds who have not seen many shifts recently. Wade Belak, Andreas Thuresson and Nick Spalling almost cracked the 10 minute mark as their line saw several additional shifts. Shots were disbursed evenly throughout the line-up as all but three skaters were credited with shots and one of the three, Kevin Klein, had an assist on a first period goal.
Pekka Rinne Outstanding in Net...
For the second night in a row, the Predators received a quality effort in net, this time from Pekka Rinne. As the Pred defense lost intensity, Rinne's game improved as he faced 41 Oiler shots. There were plenty of other shots near the net as Edmonton fired 81 Corsi shots, not allowing Rinne any room to breath. His first star of the game honor was well deserved.
The Preds will spend the night in Edmonton before departing for Calgary on Wednesday and participating in team building activities as they take a day off before returning to practice on Thursday to prepare for Friday's road trip finale at Calgary.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass