EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -It took the Edmonton Oilers 34 games to play the way coach Craig MacTavish thought they would at the beginning of the season.
Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves, and Eric Cole had a goal and two assists in the Oilers' 5-2 victory over Nashville on Sunday night.
"There were a lot of things about tonight that were the things we anticipated seeing at the beginning of the year," MacTavish said. "There was lots of skill, lots of puck movement. We only got the one goal on the power play, but we were very effective on it. It was one of our better efforts of the year.
"That's the type of game that we thought we would see more of. It's taken a considerable amount of time but we are starting to move in a positive direction in terms of the way we are playing."
"As long as the opportunities are there you are doing the right things to give yourself a chance to be successful," Cole said. "Even when you are not scoring you can give a lift to the team. But it feels good to contribute the way I did tonight and finish a couple of those opportunities off."
"We didn't get quite as many pucks on goal that we would have liked to," goalie Dan Ellis said. "Pucks were bouncing all over the place. They were able to get a couple of fluky bounces which gave them the momentum and we couldn't get it back."
Tied at 2 after the first period, the Oilers broke it open with three second-period goals. Cole gave Edmonton the lead at 10:50, and Cogliano made it 4-2 40 seconds later when his passing attempt from behind the net got caught up in Ellis' equipment and dribbled in. Pekka Rinne replaced Ellis after Cogliano's goal, then gave up Gagner's goal at 13:06.
Notes: Oilers captain Ethan Moreau returned to the lineup after missing a game because of a badly bruised wrist. He put that injury to the test early, getting into a first-period fight with Jordan Tootoo. ... Edmonton defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky reached 300 career points with an assist on Souray's goal.
|Martin Erat (9) ASST: Greg Zanon (4), David Legwand (11)|
1 - 0 NSH
|PPG - Sheldon Souray (11) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (16), Erik Cole (6)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Shawn Horcoff (10) ASST: Dustin Penner (8), Sheldon Souray (15)|
2 - 1 EDM
|Shea Weber (12) ASST: Joel Ward (5), J-P Dumont (23)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Erik Cole (5) ASST: Sam Gagner (7)|
3 - 2 EDM
|Andrew Cogliano (10) ASST: Steve Staios (2), Ladislav Smid (3)|
4 - 2 EDM
|Sam Gagner (3) ASST: Erik Cole (7), Lubomir Visnovsky (17)|
5 - 2 EDM
|Power Play %||16.2%||17.7%|
|% on Road||17.2%||18.9%|
|% at Home||15.2%||16.5%|
|Jordin Tootoo Fighting (maj) against Ethan Moreau|
|Ethan Moreau Fighting (maj) against Jordin Tootoo|
|Jason Arnott Hooking against Robert Nilsson|
|Zack Stortini Fighting (maj) against Wade Belak|
|Wade Belak Fighting (maj) against Zack Stortini|
|Radek Bonk Tripping against Robert Nilsson|
|Joel Ward Boarding against Ladislav Smid|
|Radek Bonk Cross checking against Robert Nilsson|
|Denis Grebeshkov Hooking against David Legwand|