NASHVILLE, TN - It took the Oilers and Predators 63 minutes and 55 seconds to score a goal Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena, as Filip Forsberg tallied the OT winner with 65 seconds left in sudden death to give Nashville a 1-0 victory.
After the Predators hit back-to-back posts 20 seconds apart, Forsberg got the puck in the high slot and beat Viktor Fasth with a wrist shot to give the home team the win. The game's first star was Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who stopped all 37 shots the Oilers fired his way, including a Jordan Eberle penalty shot in OT.
It was a small step in the right direction for the Oilers, as they got a single point and played sound defensive hockey, but unfortunately they were unable to snap their current losing streak.
"It's hard to take when our guys play that hard," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said post-game. "Our guys worked extremely hard against a team that may be the hardest-working team we've seen this year. I thought we matched their work ethic, and that's a tough one to take at the end."
The Oilers got off to a strong start, recording the first nine shots of the game before a Predators flurry resulted in a shot off the crossbar and big saves by both Fasth and Andrew Ference, as the captain sprawled to block an attempt with his leg.
Much like his counterpart, Fasth was excellent all night for Edmonton, making 24 saves with Forsberg's OT winner the only blemish. His best stop of the game came in the third period as Olli Jokinen got the puck in the slot and was thinking goal all the way, but Fasth flashed the leather for the glove save.
The Oilers were awarded a penalty shot in OT when Shea Weber closed his glove on a loose puck in the crease. Coach Eakins picked Eberle for the potential game-winner and the winger deked to his forehand, only to be denied by Rinne's left pad.
"I thought I had him beat, I just had to get it upstairs," Eberle said. "When you go down that way, it's extremely tough and you feel like you let your teammates down. But if we can bring that effort every night, play the way we did and capitalize on our chances, I like our game."
Edmonton played with 11 forwards for the majority of the game after Matt Hendricks blocked a Weber slap-shot on his first shift and immediately went to the locker room. He was eventually ruled out for the rest of the game with a leg injury, but X-rays on his kneecap came back negative.
The Oilers will close out their three-game road trip tomorrow night in St. Louis against the 14-6-2 Blues. It's the first meeting of the year between the teams, with St. Louis sweeping the 2013-14 season series and only surrendering two goals in three games.