Nashville got off to a fast start as J-P Dumont skated into the Oilers zone and wristed the puck from the left circle past Garon to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
At the 3:48 mark, the Predators scored again to take a 2-0 lead. Martin Erat's shot from the top of the right circle snuck past Garon low.
A minute later, Edmonton's Robert Nilsson almost made it 2-1. He took two shots at close range and both were kicked out by Dan Ellis.
Edmonton went on its first power play following an interference penalty call on Jerred Smithson. They managed to pressure the Predators for almost the entire two minutes but couldn't get on the scoreboard.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Hemsky skated end-to-end along the right wing side. He shot five-hole on Ellis but the Predators goaltender squeezed his pads together to make the save.
Erat scored his second of the game with 6:51 to go in the opening frame. In almost the same position as his first goal, Erat teed up a slap shot from the right point. This time the puck went high over the left shoulder of Garon.
Shots on goal after one period were tied at 12 apiece.
Dwayne Roloson started the second period in goal for the Oilers but it started the same way as the first with the Predators scoring 54 seconds into the period.
Martin Erat completed his natural hat trick with the goal, banging home a rebound following a Shea Weber point shot.
Mayhem erupted 3:16 into the second. First, Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Darcy Hordichuk. The two fought for several minutes with Stortini landing a lot of punches late. Hordichuk's jersey was torn off during the bout.
Shortly after the fight began, Steve Staios and Jerred Smithson also fought. The two players received game misconducts in addition to fighting majors. The game misconduct was a result of being the secondary fight following the Stortini/Hordichuk fight.
Several minutes after the fight, Tom Gilbert scored his 10th of the season to get one back for the Oilers. Gilbert's wrist shot from the left circle eluded Ellis.
Nashville regained their four-goal lead near the midway point of the period. Vern Fiddler fed the puck over to Ville Koistinen in the slot. He slapped it past Roloson to make it 5-1.
Shots after two periods were 22-19 for the Oilers.
Edmonton almost caught a break early in the third after Dan Hamhuis tripped up behind his own net. He lost sight of the puck, allowing Hemsky to skate in and retrieve it. Hemsky set up Gagner in the slot but the Oilers rookie lost control of it.
Robert Nilsson pulled a great move with a fake shot to get around Hamhuis midway through the third but Ellis stopped him on both the initial shot and the rebound.
Strong forechecking by the Nilsson-Gagner-Cogliano line put Edmonton on the power play with about seven minutes to play in the third but they were unable to capitalize.
NOTES: Gilbert's goal set a new Oilers single-season record for goals by a rookie defenceman in a season. The previous record of nine was set by Paul Coffey (1981-82) and matched by Marc-Andre Bergeron (2003-04)... Robert Nilsson's assist on the Gilbert goal extended his scoring streak to five games.
Tom Gilbert scores his 10th goal of the season, setting a new record for Oilers rookie defencemen.
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com