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Oilers at Predators preview

Edmonton hopes to gain in Pacific Division; Nashville tied for second wild card in West

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

OILERS (34-23-8) at PREDATORS (32-24-8)



The Game

The Edmonton Oilers will try to gain in the Pacific Division when they play the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.

Edmonton is four points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights and one point ahead of the third-place Calgary Flames. Forward Kailer Yamamoto will return after missing three games with an ankle injury.

The Predators are tied with the Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They are 6-2-1 in their past nine games and trail the Vancouver Canucks by two points for the first wild card.


Players to watch

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past five games.

Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in a four-game point streak.


They said it

"It's an honor. I've got to keep playing the same way. If I slack off, I'm not that player anymore. I've just got to keep playing the same way I was before and keep pushing." -- Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto

"It's a tough schedule coming up, but this is crunch time for us here. Every game means so much to us right now, and I know all the guys are pretty dialed in to what we need to do and what the job is at hand." -- Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro


Oilers projected lineup

Tyler Ennis -- Connor McDavid -- Josh Archibald

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

Andreas Athanasiou -- Riley Sheahan -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Caleb Jones -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Matt Benning

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: William Lagesson, Markus Granlund. Patrick Russell

Injured: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Joakim Nygard (hand), James Neal (ankle), Mike Green (knee)


Predators projected lineup

Colin Blackwell -- Ryan Johansen -- Colton Sissons

Calle Jarnkrok -- Matt Duchene -- Viktor Arvidsson

Filip Forsberg -- Kyle Turris -- Mikael Granlund

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Jarred Tinordi -- Mattias Ekholm

Dan Hamhuis -- Dante Fabbro

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Austin Watson, Yannick Weber

Injured: None


Status report

Athanasiou moved from McDavid's line to Sheahan's at the morning skate. … The Predators did not hold a morning skate. … Rinne will start for the first time since Feb. 21.


Stat pack

Draisaitl has 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in 16 games against the Predators. … Rinne is 21-7-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 32 games against the Oilers.

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