Predators slay Oilers 6-3 Thursday night
|Nashville's Jason Arnott and Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff stare down the puck during Thursday's game at Rexall Place. The Predators went on to win 6-3. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Edmonton's comeback kids got a taste of their own medicine Thursday night as the Predators overcame an early two-goal deficit to steal a 6-3 victory at Rexall Place. Robert Nilsson and Nashville's Patric Hornqvist scored two goals each, while Dan Ellis made 21 saves in relief of Pekka Rinne for the win. Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers
also stopped 21 shots.
2:27 after opening puck drop, Edmonton benefited from the game's first powerplay when Nashville's Cody Franson interfered with Andrew Cogliano
. 38 seconds into the man-advantage, Nilsson wristed the puck over goalie Rinne to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
The Predators got one shot on Deslauriers following the goal, but the Oilers soon found themselves back in the offensive zone. Although Rinne stopped Gilbert Brule
's initial attempt, defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky saw an opportunity and slipped up the slot, snagged the rebound, and fired home his club's second of the game.
The Preds took a time out, pulled Rinne in favour of Ellis, regrouped, and came out snarling after the goal. Although Deslauriers stopped the first assault, at 12:13 an end-to-end rush concluded in a quick shot by Ryan Jones
that flew into the net.
Four minutes later, the Preds tied the game at two. Deslauriers made a pair of stops, but when the puck landed on Joel Ward's stick, the winger skirted the goalie and wrapped it into the net to set the score 2-2.
The team didn't stop at two: 50 seconds after that, Nashville took the lead on a deflection by Marcel Goc.
The Predators' three-goal comeback put the Oilers down 3-2 and 16 shots to 10 after 20 minutes.
Both teams added a shot to their tallies before the Oil went back on the powerplay five minutes into the middle frame. But despite testing Ellis with another two shots, the Oil were unable to get back on even terms during the man-advantage.
After the return of five-on-five, the Preds accomplished what the Oilers could not. With Deslauriers sprawled on the ice, Patric Hornqvist swept across the crease and tapped the puck into the net to make it 4-2 for the visitors.
At the game's midway point, Ladislav Smid
's holding minor gave Nashville the advantage for the first time, but Edmonton killed the two minutes and then promptly benefited from their third and fourth powerplays.
Although the home team couldn't score in the first two minutes, Nilsson's slick poke-check in the following man-advantage triggered a breakaway and soaring forehand goal. The picture-perfect play marked Nilsson's second powerplay goal of the night and got his team back within one.
But although the period was almost over, the visiting goals were not. Hornqvist followed Nilsson's lead by adding his second of the night to give the Preds a 5-3 lead heading into the third period.
The Preds and Oilers each enjoyed powerplays early in the third, but goalies and their penalty killers dominated the play.
Although Edmonton outshot Nashville throughout the final frame, the club couldn't find a way to beat Ellis. A late goal by Jerred Smithson sealed a 6-3 win for the Predators.
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