After both clubs started slowly, the Oilers and Predators ramped up their play, culminating in a late equalizer from Taylor Hall that pushed the game into overtime and eventually a shootout. Unfortunately for Edmonton, home snipers were stonewalled by Pekka Rinne, and Nashville came out with a 3-2 shootout win Sunday night.
Under the Scope
One minute into the contest, Jim Vandermeer took an interference minor, but Edmonton excelled on the penalty kill, limiting Nashville to a lone unsuccessful shot.
The situation switched seven minutes later when visiting defenceman Alex Sulzer was called for holding. The Preds killed those two minutes, and shortly after Sulzer escaped the penalty box, he caught a pass and snapped it past Devan Dubnyk for the opening goal.
Both teams benefited from a second power-play before the period was out, but the advantages failed to have an impact on the scoreclock. After 20 minutes, the Preds held a 1-0 lead and matched the Oilers with five shots.
Thanks in part to a third Oilers penalty early in the middle frame, the Predators pulled ahead in attempts. But the Oilers narrowed the gap near the game's midway point, eventually drawing a hooking minor from winger Wade Belak. Netminder Rinne kept up his perfect performance, however, and the Oilers were kept off the board.
The power-play helped Edmonton assume a 14-12 shot lead after 40 minutes.
Two minutes into the third, the Oilers got their 15th shot and first goal. After carrying the puck up the left wing, Liam Reddox fed the puck to Andrew Cogliano at center, who deflected it past Rinne to tie the game at one.
With 7:50 left in regulation, Ladislav Smid took two minutes for dragging down Nick Spaling. Dubnyk did a good job of helping his club kill most of the penalty, but with only five seconds left in the infraction, the swarming Preds got their go-ahead goal courtesy of Joel Ward.
But 2:08 later, the Oilers were back on even terms. With help from Dustin Penner and Vandermeer, Hall powered the puck over Rinne to tie the game at two.
With only 45 seconds remaining on the clock, Theo Peckham was assessed two minutes for hooking. Thanks to a couple of key clearing attempts and blocks, the Oilers outlasted the clock, earned a single point, and dealt with the remainder of the penalty in overtime.
Seconds after Peckham rejoined the play, Ryan Suter took his turn in the visiting sin bin. Shawn Horcoff came within inches of getting the power-play game-winner, but with Rinne's dropped stick blocking one side of the net, the puck deflected away without completely crossing the line.
The near-goal wasn't good enough, and the game progressed to a shootout.
The shootout started with saves on Linus Omark, Marcel Goc, and Sam Gagner before Cody Franson went top shelf on Dubnyk. With the win on his shoulders, Hall came up short in Edmonton's final attempt, resulting in a 3-2 victory for the visitors.