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GAME: Nashville Predators (35-19-6) at Edmonton Oilers (31-21-8).
TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.
Scoring and winning on the road have not come easy recently for the Nashville Predators.
Nashville will try to snap a season-high six-game road losing streak and look for their first road goal in more than two games as they begin a four-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Predators have been dominant at home, recording a conference-best 23 wins there. But Nashville has not won a road game since a 2-1 win Jan. 24 over Central Division-leading Detroit and has been outscored 24-7 during its six-game road losing streak.
The Predators also have not scored a road goal in 128 minutes, 23 seconds since Mark Eaton's goal at 11:37 of the third period during a 4-2 loss Feb. 6 to Dallas.
Nashville also will visit Calgary, Vancouver and San Jose before starting a four-game homestand March 14 against the Canucks.
Nashville also is coming of its first win after the Olympic break, a 3-1 triumph Thursday over Vancouver. Greg Johnson's short-handed goal 45 seconds into the third period gave the Predators the lead, and Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz called it a nice rebound after being shut out 3-0 in Chicago the previous night.
"One of our goals is to have home-ice advantage," Trotz said of the postseason. "We're not going to look behind us. We've just got to look forward. These are playoff-type games, and we found a way to win."
Yanic Perreault also scored for Nashville, but the Predators will be without him for the next two to four weeks with a knee injury. Perreault was tied for second on the team with 21 goals and his 49 points placed him third.
Edmonton snapped a four-game slide in dramatic fashion. On Friday against San Jose, Shawn Horcoff scored the tying goal before linemate Ales Hemsky netted the game-winner with 1:07 remaining in a 3-2 win.
More importantly, the win extended Edmonton's lead over San Jose for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot to six points.
Horcoff said good things were bound to happen for Hemsky, a bronze medal-winner for the Czech Republic at the Olympics.
"The kid's got unbelievable talent," Horcoff said. "It's only a matter of time for him."
Hemsky has recorded points in six of his last seven games, netting a goal and seven assists. He had a goal and three assists against the Predators in a 5-1 win Oct. 29.
Edmonton's shaky goaltending also got a boost from Ty Conklin, who finished with 19 saves Friday for his first win since Jan. 3. He was waived by the Oilers on Feb. 7, but went unclaimed.
"It obviously feels great to get the win," Conklin said.
STANDINGS: Predators - 76 points, 2nd place, 11 PB, Central Division. Oilers - 70 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Steve Sullivan, 26 goals; Paul Kariya, 40 assists and 59 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 111 PIM. Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 27 goals; Horcoff, 43 assists and 60 points; Jaroslav Spacek, 78 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Predators - Power play: 18.4 percent (70 for 381), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (329 for 384), 3rd. Oilers - Power play: 17.7 percent (67 for 379), 19th. Penalty killing: 83.0 percent (303 for 365), 12th.
GOALTENDERS: Predators - Vokoun (29-14-5, 2 SO, 2.61 GAA); Chris Mason (5-4-1, 0, 3.23). Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (15-12-6, 0, 3.13); Conklin (6-5-0, 1, 2.95).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 30; Oilers, 4-2. At Edmonton, Alberta, Horcoff and Smyth each had a goal and an assist to lift the Oilers. Sullivan and Scott Hartnell each scored for the Predators.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 12-13-5 on the road; Oilers - 14-12-4 at home.
|Mar 05 '06||NSH 2 at EDM 3 - OT|
|Dec 30 '05||NSH 2 at EDM 4|
|Nov 08 '05||EDM 2 at NSH 3|
|Oct 29 '05||EDM 5 at NSH 1|