Preview: Oilers vs. Predators
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (21-24-3) at
EDMONTON OILERS (25-20-3)
Start Time: 12:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
|Andrew Cogliano corrals the puck in front of the Predators net (photo: Andy Devlin/EOHC)
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TODAY'S GAME
The Edmonton Oilers continue what has been a very interesting homestand on Sunday when they meet the Nashville Predators.
So far, through four games of the six-game set the club has won three with the lone loss being the now-infamous 10-2 setback against Buffalo.
The Oilers rebounded in a big way on Friday night from that loss, defeating the Minnesota Wild 3-1. The club skated out to a 2-0 start after one period then increased that lead to 3-0 before holding on for the victory.
Overall, Edmonton has won six of its last eight games and has climbed into a sixth-place logjam in the Western Conference with 53 points in 48 games. Five teams are tied right now for that sixth spot: Edmonton, Dallas, Columbus, Phoenix and Minnesota.
Nashville sits in 14th place in the Western Conference with 45 points. They have struggled since late December, going 4-10-0 in their last 14 games.
This is the third of four meetings this season between the Oilers and Predators. Nashville won the first meeting 3-1 and Edmonton won the second meeting 5-2.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
The Oilers have enjoyed a lot of success in afternoon games so far this season with six players averaging a point-per-game or better. Shawn Horcoff
has two goals and three assists for five points and a +6 rating, Ales Hemsky
also has five points and is +5, Tom Gilbert
has four assists while Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray
and Dustin Penner
each have two goals and an assist... Gilbert had a four-game scoring streak ended last game. In the four games he had a goal and five assists for six points... Defenceman Denis Grebeshkov is on a three-game streak with a goal and two helpers.
PREDATORS TO WATCH:
Edmonton native Vernon Fiddler seems to always find a way to get points against his hometown team. In 11 career games versus the Oilers, Fiddler has four goals and nine points... Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis are a combined 5-1-0 against the Oilers throught their careers. Ellis has a 2.66 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Rinne has a 1.36 GAA and a .964 save percentage… Defenceman Shea Weber is enjoying a monster season with 14 goals and 32 points in 47 games so far. His previous career highs are 17 goals and 40 points set in 2006-07 in 79 games. He has nine points (five goals) in nine career games versus Edmonton.
Edmonton—Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Sam Gagner
(ankle) is out. Nashville—Greg de Vries is questionable. Scott Nichol is questionable. Jordin Tootoo is questionable.
The Oilers are 3-0-0 in afternoon games in 2008-09 following a 3-1 win at Carolina (Nov. 1), a 5-4 win at Philadelphia (Nov. 2) and a 4-2 win at St. Louis (Nov. 29)... Overall, the Oilers play eight afternoon games in 2008-09, one at home and seven on the road... This is the second of three Sunday afternoon games the Predators will play this season. So far they are 1-0... All but four of Nashville’s wins have come when scoring first, and the Predators are the only team in the league with a perfect record when leading after one period (11-0-0)... Nashville six shutouts this season and all six have occurred in their last 27 games. The Predators are second in the league in face-off winning percentage (53.2%).
Exclusive one-on-one interview with Jordan Eberle
- Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle
is in town with his Regina Pats to take on the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday night, and 630 CHED's Dan Tencer got the chance to sit down with the young forward for a one-on-one interview. ...more
The Other Side - news from nashvillepredators.com
- Preds Game Preview vs. Edmonton - The Predators and Oilers meet on Sunday for the third of four times this season, a special 1 pm CT Super Bowl Sunday afternoon matinee at Rexall Place. ...more
- Preds rally falls short - J.P. Dumont's goal -- his 14th point in 12 games against the Flames -- got the Preds going in the third period, but Nashville then ran into penalty trouble and fell, 3-1, Friday at Pengrowth Saddledome. Game photos | ...more
- Preds Dancers Profile: Shannon - The Predators Dancers perform for thousands of fans at Preds games and other special events around town. Get to know the ladies who make the team the best in the NHL | Shannon's Bio Page | Preds Dancers Main Page | ...more
Odds and Ends
- THE LINK: Oilers in the Community - In Friday's episode of The Link, we look back on a week that focused on the community: follow the players as they visit local hospitals and join Ethan Moreau as he delivers winter coats to students of Inner City High School. ...more
- Cogliano, Pisani and Roloson's Favourite Things - Have you ever wondered which dish is Fernando Pisani's favourite, what kind of socks Andrew Cogliano wears or which book inspires Dwayne Roloson? With the Oilers Favourite Things you can find out! ...more
From the Wire (AP)
Thanks to a winning record last month, the Edmonton Oilers moved themselves into the thick of the postseason chase.
The Oilers will be trying to carry that success into the February portion of their schedule, which opens Sunday against the visiting Nashville Predators.
Edmonton (25-20-3) sat outside the playoff mix entering its first game of January, as it was tied with Dallas and Nashville (21-24-3) for 11th in the Western Conference. But the Oilers put together an 8-4-0 mark during the month, and are currently battling for one of the conference's final four playoff spots.
They picked up their fourth win in five contests overall on Friday night, 3-1 over Minnesota to rebound from Tuesday's 10-2 defeat to Buffalo - the worst home loss in franchise history.
"We really came out and battled," said Dwayne Roloson, who made 29 saves for the fifth win in his last seven starts. "We bounced back from a game that we can hopefully all forget about now. We played a full 60 minutes (Friday), probably one of our best games that we have played all year."
scored his team-high 15th goal to raise his team-leading point total to 42. He has five goals and two assists in four contests since returning from a 10-game absence due to a concussion.
Hemsky was held off of the scoresheet in these teams' latest meeting, but the Oilers won 5-2 at Rexall Place on Dec. 28. The Predators had outscored Edmonton 38-17 in winning the previous nine games in the series, including a 3-1 victory at Nashville in the only other matchup this season.
While the Oilers made strides to return to the playoff hunt in January, the Predators fell further in the standings with eight losses in 12 games to slip to 14th in the West - just ahead of last-place St. Louis.
A lack of scoring has been partly to blame for Nashville's struggles, as its 117 total goals are the fewest in the conference.
The Predators returned from the All-Star break with Wednesday's 5-3 win at Vancouver, then fell 3-1 at Calgary on Friday in the second stop of their three-game trip through western Canada.
Nasvhille, which lost for the fourth time in five games, didn't get on the board until J.P. Dumont's 10th goal 7:57 into the third period. The Predators outshot the Flames 24-17 over the final two periods after being outshot 15-5 in the first.
"The first 30 minutes we were not very good at all," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Then in the last 30 minutes I thought we were much better."
Another bright spot for Trotz's club was its penalty killing. Nashville turned aside six of seven attempts Friday, and has limited opponents to six power-play goals in 74 chances over the last 20 games.
The Predators have killed off 35 of the Oilers' 40 man-advantage opportunities in the previous 10 meetings.
Dumont leads Nashville with 26 assists and 36 points, and has four goals and 11 assists in his last 11 games versus Edmonton.
Captain Jason Arnott, meanwhile, has eight goals and 12 assists in 24 games against his former team. Arnott spent his first 4 1/2 NHL seasons with the Oilers from 1993-98.
Edmonton is likely to have Roloson in net Sunday. He boasts a 2.53 goals-against average in winning eight of his last 11 home starts, but is 3-11-0 with a 3.49 GAA in 16 career matchups with the Predators.