GAME: Edmonton Oilers (23-25-8-1) at Nashville Predators (27-21-6-2).
TIME: Sunday, 3 p.m. EST.
All-Star goalie Tomas Vokoun is the one player the Nashville Predators need
to be sharp every game if they are to earn the franchise's first playoff berth.
That hasn't been the case lately.
Vokoun hopes to end a personal three-game losing streak when the Predators
face the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
With Vokoun struggling, backup Chris Mason made his seventh start of the
season Friday and stopped 17 shots in a 5-2 victory over Washington.
Scott Hartnell led the offense with two goals and an assist as Nashville
ended a three-game losing streak during which it was outscored 14-5.
"I'm just thankful I can come in," Mason said. "We need Tomas if we're
going to make the playoffs. Hopefully, he's having a great rest and he'll be
ready to go."
Vokoun, one win shy of tying his career high of 25, has given up three goals
or more in six of his last seven starts. He has allowed 12 goals during three
Nashville's Martin Erat had two assists Friday, giving him a goal and seven
assists in his last five games.
Edmonton was building momentum with three straight wins before opening a
four-game trip with a 3-0 loss at Minnesota on Friday.
Having their win streak ended wasn't the worst news for the Oilers.
Goaltender Ty Conklin broke two bones in his wrist and was replaced after the
first period by Tommy Salo.
There was no exact timetable for Conklin's return, but he and coach Craig
MacTavish both said it wouldn't keep him out for an extended period.
"He's been the difference in our games, so it'll be a big loss,"
Edmonton's Ethan Moreau said.
After facing Nashville, the Oilers close their road trip with games at
Detroit and Colorado - arguably the league's two best teams.