"Rads has a lot of ability," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He is a talent, but he has a long way to go to be a good player in the NHL. A good player plays both ends of the ice consistently. He has a long way to go."
Radulov's linemates J.P. Dumont, and Jason Arnott, as well as Jerred Smithson, also scored for the Predators.
Trotz thinks the veteran influence of his linemates is rubbing off on Radulov.
"I like Radulov on the line with Dumont and Arnott when he scores," Trotz said. "As with any young player he has to work on some details of his game.
Zack Stortini and Ethan Moreau connected for the Oilers, but Kyle Brodziak was thwarted by Ellis on a penalty shot in the second period. Edmonton has lost seven of eight overall.
Dumont has a goal in each of his last three games. Radulov extended his points streak to five games with five goals and two assists.
Nashville took a 3-1 lead in the first, with Dumont striking first at 9:31 on the power play. Ville Koistinen shot from high in the slot and the puck bounced off the body of Edmonton goalie Mathieu Garon. Dumont moved in for the rebound and beat Garon.
"We just lacked any composure whatsoever," said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish. "Early on in the game, on the back end, we were turning pucks over and hanging onto pucks. We weren't moving the puck. We were losing the puck at the point of contact. We were flopping around and diving on the ice. We just didn't ever get in the game from the start."
|Nashville Predators goalie Dan Ellis, left, makes a save on a breakaway shot by Edmonton Oilers center Kyle Brodziak, right, in the second period on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at Sommet Center in Nashville, TN. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)|
At 10:55, Smithson took control of a loose puck inside the blue line. He skated low into the slot and fired a shot past Garon for an unassisted goal.
The Oilers answered at 14:19 when Stortini came out of a scramble in front of the Predators' net and shot the puck over Ellis as he fell to the ice.
The Predators scored their third goal of the period when Radulov skated across the blue line with the puck and through the top half of the right circle before beating Garon with a shot at 17:23.
Arnott gave the Predators a 4-1 lead at 7:21 of the second period on the power play. Marek Zidlicky had the puck to the left side of the net. Garon moved to block Zidlicky's potential shot, but he passed to Arnott, who put the puck into an empty net from the top of the crease.
Ellis faced the second penalty shot of his career and made his first stop, preventing Brodziak from scoring at 9:41.
"I have been terrible on them so far, but I finally mixed in a save" said Ellis. "I had played with Kyle in Iowa which was kind of funny. We used to work on breakaways and stuff, but I kind of forgot what his moves were."
Moreau scored the Oilers' second goal on the power play at 3:55 of the third period with a shot low and inside the left circle.
Radulov struck for the second time at 6:54 of the third when he beat Garon to his glove side from low in the slot.
Ellis stopped 26 shots for his second consecutive win.
Notes: Stortini's goal was his first of the season. The Oilers' loss came on the heels of a 3-2 overtime win in St. Louis on Wednesday night that ended a season-high six-game losing streak.