Oilers edged by Predators 4-3
|Edmonton's defencemen skate the puck up the ice at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Tuesday, March 2. The Predators went on to win 4-3. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Mike Comrie started the Oilers off right with the opening goal Tuesday night, but former teammate Denis Grebeshkov helped his new team bounce back by earning a primary assist and then go-ahead goal before the period was out. From that point, the Oilers and Preds traded goals throughout the game but the visitors were unable to jump ahead and suffered a 4-3 loss in Nashville.
and Marc Pouliot added a goal and assist each for Edmonton, while goalie Jeff Deslauriers
finished with 24 saves.
Edmonton took a few minutes to get back into game mode, but a handful of saves by Jeff Deslauriers
prevented any damage on the scoreboard. At the six minute mark, the momentum shifted to the visitors.
During an ill-timed Predators line change, Oilers Tom Gilbert
, Shawn Horcoff
and Mike Comrie embarked on a three-on-one. Gilbert passed to Horcoff, Horcoff fired on goalie Pekka Rinne, and although Rinne caught a piece of the puck, Comrie was perfectly poised to tap the rebound over the line to make it 1-0 Edmonton.
Five minutes later, Nashville tied it up. Just inside the Oilers zone, Colin Wilson snagged the puck, circled back in on net, and fired through traffic and past Deslauriers to even the score at one. With the primary assist on the play, Denis Grebeshkov earned his first assist as a Predator against his former club.
At 14:55, the former Oiler added a goal. After getting the puck at the left point, Grebeshkov backpedalled into the top of the slot and directed a slapshot inside Deslauriers' right post to give the Predators a 2-1 lead.
Grebeshkov added an interference minor to his resume following the goal, but the Oilers struggled on the powerplay and carried their one-goal deficit into the second period.
Nashville started the middle frame with an 8-6 shot lead, but in seven minutes they increased it to 14-9. Near the game's midway point, a second Predators interference minor gave the Oilers their second powerplay, which passed much like the first.
Although Edmonton's powerplay again failed to fire, the club found a spark 29 seconds into five-on-five. While battling for position in front of Rinne, Gilbert Brule
deflected Theo Peckham
's point shot to tie the game at two.
But the stalemate didn't last long: during a penalty to Steve Staios, the Predators accomplished what the Oilers could not as Shea Weber one-timed a powerplay goal past Deslauriers, renewing Nashville's lead.
thought he had tied the game a minute later when the puck settled behind Rinne, but video review proved that it slipped under the net and not across the line, ensuring the Preds would start another period with a one-goal lead.
While Cogliano's second-period attempt didn't count as a goal, his efforts early in the third helped accomplish the same result. The speedy forward battled up the right wing and forced the puck ahead to Marc Pouliot, who fired a bullet past Rinne to tie the game at three.
Unfortunately for the Oil, the Predators soon regained their grip on the game. At the five-minute mark, Jason Arnott renewed the home lead by deflecting a shot off Oilers defenceman Jason Strudwick
Edmonton's attempt to get back on even terms was handicapped by a late interference minor to Ethan Moreau. With Deslauriers on the bench for five-on-five in the final minute, the Oilers tallied a few more shots on Rinne but the game-tying goal wasn't one of them and the club suffered a 4-3 loss in Nashville.
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