NASHVILLE PREDATORS (33-25-8) at
EDMONTON OILERS (31-30-5)
7:08 p.m. MST
Rogers Sportsnet West
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Oilers/Predators Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
After four straight wins and seven in a row overall on home ice, the Edmonton Oilers can start to make a move on their playoff hopes with a win against the Nashville Predators this evening.
The Oilers are seven points behind Nashville and can whittle that down to a much more manageable five points with a regulation win tonight.
In their last game, they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in a shootout. Ales Hemsky
scored once and added the shootout winner while Mathieu Garon denied all three Blue Jackets in the shootout in addition to stopping 35 of 38 shots.
Nashville was at .500 at the end of December but with a record of 16-7-6 since that time, they’ve moved their way into the playoff picture. The Predators struggled at the end of February with a record of 2-3-2 including a three-game winless stretch but on Saturday they defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 in Dallas.
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two teams. Nashville won the previous three games.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (11:45 AM):
Mathieu Garon gets his 13th consecutive start tonight... Geoff Sanderson pronounced himself ready to go after missing practice yesterday with a sore back, meaning Marc Pouliot will likely be dispatched to Springfield prior to game time.
TONIGHT'S GAME ON MOLSON CANADIAN OILERS PPV:
If you can't make it to the game, you can still watch it on TV as it will be available on Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View. Click here for information on how to order the game
OILERS TO WATCH:
Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano
are both enjoying four-game scoring streaks heading into tonight’s game. Nilsson has one goal and three assists in that time while Cogliano has three goals and three assists. For the rookie Cogliano, it’s the longest scoring streak of his NHL career. Nilsson had an eight-game scoring streak earlier this season… Mathieu Garon has played all three games against the Predators this season and has had his struggles with a 4.40 GAA and .838 save percentage. In his career against the Predators, Garon is 2-4-0 with a 3.91 GAA and .846 save percentage.
PREDATORS TO WATCH:
Former Oiler Jason Arnott is Nashville’s leading scorer with 62 points (24g, 38a)… Three Predators players are tied for the team lead in goals. Arnott, J-P Dumont and Alexander Radulov each have 24 goals… Arnott leads the Predators in plus/minus at +19. At the other end of the spectrum, teammate Radek Bonk is a minus-25. Arnott has five points (three goals) and is +5 in three games against the Oilers this season. Dumont also has five points (two goals) and is +6 versus Edmonton. Radulov has three goals and four points in three outings.
Edmonton – Ales Hemsky
(wrist) is probable. Geoff Sandersno (back) is probable. Ethan Moreau (broken leg) is out. Ladislav Smid
(ankle) is out. Shawn Horcoff
(shoulder) is out. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Raffi Torres (knee) is out; Nashville – Martin Gelinas (knee) is doubtful. Jed Ortmeyer (knee) is doubtful.
With a record of 31-30-5, Edmonton has moved over the .500 mark for the first time since they were 2-1-0 back on October 8. Since that time, the Oilers had been at .500 five times with a record of 1-3-1. The only win came Sunday against Columbus… Edmonton added to its NHL record of shootout wins on Sunday night, winning their 14th shootout game against only three losses. Garon has now stopped 30 of 32 shots this season and each of his last 14 attempts against… Hemsky’s goal in the shootout on Sunday gave him sole possession of the league lead with six shootout goals this season. Ten different players are tied with five shootout goals, including Oilers Shawn Horcoff
and Sam Gagner
… Nashville’s leading shootout performer is Radek Bonk and Martin Erat with two goals apiece.
- Pre-game comments from Sanderson, Garon, Pouliot, Cogliano, Brodziak, Nilsson & MacTavish: 700K
Oilers recall Pouliot from Springfield
- The Edmonton Oilers have recalled forward Marc Pouliot from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. ...more
The Other Side
- Did You Know? - The Predators are 11-5-2 in games played in Canada since the start of the 2005-06 season. Find out more about the Preds road records in this week's Did You Know. ...more
Item of the Game
- Oilers Domination Shortsleeve Top on sale for $19.99
Odds and Ends
- Record crowd enjoys skills competition - Fans of all ages cheered on Team White to a 20-11 win over Team Blue at the Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition Powered by McDonald's.
Photos | Video | ...more
From the Wire
The Nashville Predators hope they've put their recent defensive struggles behind them.
Continuing their longest road trip of the season, the Predators look to build off their most recent victory while trying for an eighth straight win over the surging Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Nashville (33-25-8) won 3-1 at Dallas on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak. The Predators had allowed 14 goals in their previous two contests, including an 8-4 loss at Buffalo on Wednesday to open the important six-game trip.
Nashville is tied with Vancouver and Colorado for the final two playoff spots in the crowded Western Conference.
"It was a huge win for us," said goalie Dan Ellis, who made 24 saves against his former team. "Coming in and getting a huge win shows we can beat anybody."
The Predators, who won for just the second time in six contests, had allowed 5.2 goals in their previous five games, but hope Saturday's win will be the start of a strong finishing stretch.
"We worked on a little bit of responsibility in every area," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Our mind-set wasn't right. There was not enough detail in our game."
David Legwand scored the first of Nashville's three third-period goals Saturday. Jordin Tootoo and J.P. Dumont also had goals, while Jason Arnott recorded an assist for his eighth point in five games.
The Predators look to sweep a series from Edmonton for the second straight season when the teams meet for the final time in 2007-08.
Nashville has outscored the Oilers (31-30-5) 14-7 in three games this season, allowing its most goals in the series during a 5-4 home win on Feb. 19 in the teams' most recent meeting.
Arnott has three goals and two assists against Edmonton in 2007-08, while Ellis, who could be back in goal Tuesday, is 3-0-0 with a 2.34 goals-against average against the Oilers, a team he had never faced prior to this season.
Though Nashville looks to continue its success by winning its fourth in a row at Edmonton, the Oilers are doing their best to remain a serious contender in the conference playoff race.
Edmonton won 4-3 over Columbus in a shootout on Sunday for its fourth straight victory, leaving the Oilers seven points out of the final playoff spot. Edmonton looks to extend its season-high home winning streak to eight games Tuesday.
"It's big for the team," said Edmonton rookie Andrew Cogliano, who had a goal and an assist against Columbus and has three goals with three assists in his last four contests. "It's good for our confidence and it feels like we are finally making progress. Hopefully we can get one more win and sweep this (five-game) homestand and then keep it going on the road."
Ales Hemsky had a goal in regulation and the only one of the shootout, while Mathieu Garon made 35 saves for his fourth straight victory. Hemsky, who has a goal and an assist versus Nashville this season, has three goals in his last two contests.