Oilers suffer overtime loss in Nashville
|Nashville's Shea Weber goes a round against Jason Strudwick at the Sommet Center March 3, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
It was a textbook back-and-forth battle. The Oilers and Predators traded goals and leads through 60 minutes, but the final lead -- thanks to an overtime goal by Jason Arnott -- sealed a 6-5 win for the Predators.
led the Oilers with a goal and two assists, and Dwayne Roloson stopped 38 shots.
With the Predators riding high from a commanding 8-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Oilers did a good job of containing the home team and owned a 5-1 shot lead after the first five minutes.
But Nashville soon picked up their game by firing four attempts on Edmonton, including the shot that became the opening goal. At 6:22, David Legwand and Joel Ward completed a classic give-and-go, with Legwand concluding the play by backhanding the puck past Dwayne Roloson for an early 1-0 Preds lead.
Near the period's midway point, the Oilers got back on even terms. After Ladislav Smid
battled to gain control of the puck, he fed it to Sam Gagner
, who forced his way in on net and tucked the puck inside Pekka Rinne's right post to tie the game at one.
Five minutes later, Gagner helped give the Oilers their first lead of the game. From behind the net, the young forward spotted Marc Pouliot in the slot, and Pouliot wristed the puck past Rinne to put the Oilers up 2-1.
With Edmonton's second line responsible for two goals, Nashville's second line produced its second goal in the final two minutes of the frame. On a set-up from Kevin Klein and Ward, Legwand positioned himself on Roloson's doorstep and tapped the quick pass across the line to tie the game at two heading into the second period.
Four minutes into the middle frame, Sheldon Souray
ended the by-the-books game by taking a hooking penalty. But the two-minute minor would last only 15 seconds as Ryan Suter slapped the puck past Roloson to give the Predators a 3-2 lead on the powerplay.
The Oilers benefited from their first powerplay immediately after the goal, but the visitors struggled on the man-advantage and surrendered two shorthanded shots in the process.
Back to back Preds powerplays helped the home team assume a 28-17 shot lead late in the period, but Roloson ensured they were unable to tally a second PPG.
With 1:44 left in the period, Suter took an interference penalty for shoving Liam Reddox
, an act that paved the way for a real shoving match -- and then fisticuffs -- between Shae Weber and Jason Strudwick
By the end of the second, the Oilers trailed 11 shots and one goal but held a 16-second man-advantage to start the third.
Although the Oilers couldn't make it happen on the man-advantage, Andrew Cogliano
found the equalizer shortly thereafter. After Rinne turned away Fernano Pisani's backhand, Cogliano redirected the rebound into the net to tie the game at three.
Cogliano's shot was Edmonton's 20th of the game, and Nashville hit the 30 mark less than two minutes later. But the extra attempts didn't translate into extra goals for the Preds, and the Oilers countered by taking the lead for the second time.
From the middle of the blue line, Smid dodged a stickless Jordin Tootoo and then slapped the puck on net. By catching a piece of the shot, JF Jacques fooled Rinne with the deflection and registered his first NHL goal to put the Oilers up 4-3.
Edmonton's lead wouldn't last long, however. In just over a minute, Steve Sullivan scored two quick goals to tip the seesaw game back in Nashville's favour.
But, as seesaw etiquette dictates, what goes up must come down. With seven minutes left in regulation, Cole powered his way around the net and wrapped the puck past Rinne to tie the game at five and eventually force extra time.
With the Preds dominating the shot clock 40-28, sudden death swept over the Sommet Center. 1:25 into overtime, a high-sticking penalty to Strudwick gave the Predators their fourth powerplay of the game -- and the club used the opportunity to end the suspense.
Suffering from a painful shot to the upper body and playing without his stick, Roloson was unable to stop Jason Arnott's slapshot, and the Predators secured a 5-4 overtime win Tuesday night.
|Three star selections