Oilers meet Predators at Rexall Place
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (17-14-3) at
EDMONTON OILERS (16-14-3)
Start Time: 6:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Predators Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
LINEUP UPDATES: Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal once again for the Oilers... Ethan Moreau is likely to play though it's unsure who will draw out of the lineup if he does suit up.
|Nashville's Scott Nichol takes a shot on Edmonton's Mathieu Garon at the Sommet Center October 30, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
The Edmonton Oilers can get settled for a while as they will play seven of their next eight games at home, though the team they face tonight might not illicit positivity.
The Nashville Predators (17-14-3) have indeed made prey out of the Edmonton Oilers (16-14-3) in recent history. You could say the Oilers are due.
Nashville has won nine consecutive games versus Edmonton including four straight games at Rexall Place. It was way back on March 5, 2006 when the Oil handed the Preds their hats with a 3-2 overtime victory. Since then they’ve been outscored 38-17.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Oilers are looking for their third straight win having beat Phoenix, 4-2, on Dec. 22, and Vancouver, 3-2, on Boxing Day. Four of the seven goals came on the powerplay. Also, Captain Ethan Moreau may draw into the lineup although it would be a game-time decision.
Nashville is coming off a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings but has lost four straight on the road.
Tonight’s game will be the Oilers and Predators’ second meeting of the season and the first at Rexall Place.
Edmonton will next face the Ottawa Senators at home on Dec. 30 and the Calgary Flames in Cowtown on New Years Eve, the Oilers’ only road game until Jan. 13.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
Erik Cole has been doing everything under the sun except getting rewarded for his hard work. He’s got only one point in his last five games but looks to continue his effort…Ales Hemsky
continues to put up the points with four points in his last two games but no goals since Dec. 13...Marc Pouliot’s been hot. He has goals in two straight and points in three straight.
PREDATORS TO WATCH:
J.P. Dumont has four goals and nine assists during the Preds nine-game streak against the Oilers. He has scored 5-10-15 in 17 games versus Edmonton…Shea Weber is tied for first in goals by a defenceman (11) and tied for third in points (26). He has four goals and four assists in eight games against the Oilers…Dan Ellis is coming off a 38 save performance against Detroit and is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .936 save percentage versus Edmonton.
(orbital bone) is out; Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Ethan Moreau (wrist) is a game-time decision. Nashville—Scott Nichol (concussion) is out; Steve Sullivan (back) is out.
Nashville hasn’t lost this season when leading after the first period…four of the Oilers top nine scorers are defencemen: Sheldon Souray
(9-14-22), Lubomir Visnovsky (5-13-18), Tom Gilbert
(2-13-15) and Denis Grebeshkov (1-11-12)…former Oiler Jason Arnott is looking for his tenth consecutive season of scoring 20-or-more goals…tonight’s game is the second of six Sunday games for the Oilers…Edmonton has two Sunday games in January, hosting St. Louis on Jan. 11, and Phoenix on Jan. 18.
The Other Side - from nashvillepredators.com
- Preds open final road trip of 2008 - Nashville and Edmonton clash for the first time at Rexall Place in 2008-09 tonight, and for the second time this season. In the first meeting, Nashville recorded a 3-1 win behind multi-point efforts from Ryan Suter & Shea Weber on Oct. 30. ...more
- Preds holiday memories - Watch as the Preds players talk about their favorite holiday memories. ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- Download your Ales Hemsky wallpaper - On the day after Christmas, we have Ales Hemsky wallpaper for you to download in our wallpapers section. Follow the link to pick up yours today! ...more
- This or That? with Lubomir Visnovsky - Things aren't always black and white, but we made Lubomir Visnovsky choose Option A or Option B on a variety of topics, including transportation, breakfast foods, and late-December holidays. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Nashville Predators have alternated wins and losses in their last five games, but they have won consistently against their next opponent.
The Predators (17-14-3) head into Sunday's game in Edmonton with nine consecutive wins over the Oilers (16-14-3) and four straight wins at Rexall Place.
Nashville comes off one of its biggest wins of the season, a 3-2 home victory Friday over Detroit, which eliminated the Predators in last season's playoffs on its way to the Stanley Cup.
The Predators broke an 0-for-11 power-play slump with Kevin Klein's second-period goal and scored more than two goals for only the third time in their last nine games.
"It has been a tough stretch for us ... in terms of goal scoring lately and if we weren't hitting it off the post, we were hitting it off the crest," said Predators coach Barry Trotz, whose team has scored 14 times in that span. "Tonight we went to the net hard, and we got rewarded for that."
The Predators have lost four straight (0-3-1) on the road, but haven't had much trouble lately with the Oilers. Nashville is 9-0-0 in the series since a 3-2 overtime loss on March 5, 2006, and has scored four goals or more in seven of those meetings.
J.P. Dumont has been a key contributor for the Predators against the Oilers, tallying four goals and nine assists during those nine wins.
Nashville continued its strong performance on the penalty kill against Detroit, denying one of the league's top power-play units on all three chances. The Predators haven't allowed a power-play goal in the last 19 opportunities.
Goalies Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne have played a big role in that successful penalty killing, combining to allow eight goals during a 3-2-1 stretch, with one shutout each.
The Oilers have played a league-low 13 home games, and are 5-5-3 at Rexall Place this season.
Dwayne Roloson had another strong performance with 26 saves as Edmonton won its second straight, 3-2 over Vancouver on Friday.
Roloson has allowed two goals in each of his last three starts and is 5-1-1 in his last eight appearances, but is 0-4-0 with a 3.26 goals-against average in his last five games versus Nashville.
Ales Hemsky, who leads the Oilers with 35 points and is tied for the goals lead with defenseman Sheldon Souray at 10, has 18 points in his last 15 games, collecting two assists in each of his last two contests. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, meanwhile, has recorded five assists in the past three games.
Captain Ethan Moreau could return to the lineup Sunday after sitting out Friday's win with a wrist injury. Moreau took a shot off the wrist in a 4-2 victory Monday over Phoenix.
The Oilers have scored seven goals - four on the power play - in their last two games after managing only six in their previous three contests.
"We've had a pretty good power play," center Shawn Horcoff said. "We have the personnel. We have two units that can go out there. We try to focus on a hard minute each, and we try to move it around and get comfortable."