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The Nashville Predators' strong play at home has helped them overcome a sub-.500 road record and stay in the playoff mix.
Looking to bounce back from a tough road loss, Nashville goes for its seventh straight win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night in the start a three-game homestand.
The Predators (31-23-7) fell 5-4 in overtime to Minnesota on Sunday - their fourth defeat in five road contests. Nashville rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits, but gave up the game-winner with five seconds left in the extra period.
"Against the Wild, you tend to feel you don't have a chance sometimes when you fall behind," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "I just let them know, I've seen this team do a lot of good things, and this team - we're going to get a point out of (Sunday's game).
"They showed their resiliency and character and just stayed with it."
Nashville has won six of its last eight at the Sommet Center, and boast one of the NHL's best home records in the NHL at 19-9-3. Only league-leading Detroit has more wins on its home ice with 21. The second-place Predators, though, trail the Red Wings by 20 points in the Central Division.
Location hasn't made much of a difference for Nashville when facing the Oilers (27-28-5) recently. The Predators have won six straight in the series since the start of last season, and four consecutive home wins since Nov. 8, 2005 - including a 5-2 victory on Jan. 3.
The Predators' top scorers, Jason Arnott (54 points) and J.P. Dumont (53), each contributed a goal and an assist in that win. In their careers against the Oilers, Arnott has seven goals and 10 assists in 20 games, while Dumont has three goals and seven assists in 14 contests.
Dumont's status for this game is unknown after missing two straight with the flu.
Against the Wild, goaltender Chris Mason lost for the third in time four starts. Though he's 2-0-0 with a 2.51 goals-against average in his career against the Oilers, rookie Dan Ellis has gotten the nod in both games against them in 2007-08.
|Edmonton Oilers center Kyle Brodziak, right, comes into tonight's game in Nashville riding a three-game goal streak. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)|
Ellis, who is 4-0-1 with a 1.87 GAA in his last six appearances, has limited Edmonton to just three goals.
With a win, the Predators will move past idle San Jose into fifth place in the Western Conference.
The Oilers, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip, failed to record their third straight win after dropping a 4-2 decision to Vancouver on Saturday in a fight-filled contest. Marty Reasoner and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Oilers, who totaled 101 penalty minutes against their division rivals.
"It was just two teams playing good aggressive hockey and both teams realized how important the game was and clearly form the outset it was going to be a physical game and that's the way it ended," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose team has lost just twice in six contests. "I was fine with that."
Brodziak has four goals during a three-game run, while rookie Sam Gagner has one goal and seven assists in his six-game points streak. Neither center has registered a point against Nashville.
Edmonton's Mathieu Garon, who made 22 saves versus the Canucks, has allowed eight goals while losing both his career starts in Nashville.