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Preview: Predators at Oilers

Defenseman P.K. Subban returns to Nashville lineup; Edmonton looking for fifth straight win

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (21-17-7) at OILERS (25-15-7)

9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-TN, NHL.TV 

 

Predators team scope

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban was activated from injured reserve on Friday and will return to the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers. Subban, who missed 16 games with an upper-body injury, has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 29 games this season. He has not played since Dec. 15 in a 5-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild. "The one thing that this organization does, they do everything right, right from the start," Subban told the Predators website. "Right from the day that I knew I was coming out of the lineup they took the right steps in making sure that we're moving in the right direction. ... Then we came to a consensus this morning, I told them last night, 'I'll take the morning skate' and see how I felt this morning, and everything was good. So we all decided that I was good to go." Having Subban back in uniform will shore up Nashville's defense, with Roman Josi out because of an upper-body injury. Subban has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 10 career games against the Oilers. Nashville, which did not hold a morning skate Friday, has won four of its past five games and holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "We're doing a pretty good job at adapting, we're staying in the race," general manager David Poile said Friday. "We could be in good shape coming out of the All-Star break." Josi and forward Colin Wilson (lower body) are expected back after the NHL All-Star break, Poile said. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is expected to start.

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers look to match a season-long five-game winning streak when they complete a six-game homestand Friday. The Oilers won five consecutive games from Oct. 18-28. "This was a chance for us to get our game on track at home and we've taken a lot of pride in that throughout the last four or five games," center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "At the start of the season our home record wasn't quite where we wanted it to be, and we're starting to pick it up a little bit. It's definitely important to us and we have to end it on a good note tonight." Captain Connor McDavid scored with 2.6 seconds left in overtime to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Wednesday. Goaltender Cam Talbot won his career-high 24th game of the season and will start. The Oilers play at the Calgary Flames on Saturday where Talbot could start again, despite being the second game on back-to-back nights. "We're playing it one game at a time," coach Todd McLellan said. "Cam is fresh, he's ready to go. We're choosing to play him tonight and we'll worry about Calgary tomorrow when we get to tomorrow."

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson

Calle Jarnkrok - Mike Ribeiro - James Neal

Austin Watson - Mike Fisher - Craig Smith

Cody McLeod - Derek Grant - Harry Zolnierczyk

Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin - Ryan Ellis

Anthony Bitetto - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Brad Hunt, Colton Sissons

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body), P.K. Subban (upper body), Roman Josi (upper body), Petter Granberg (undisclosed), Colin Wilson (lower body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl

Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Milan Lucic -- Drake Caggiula - Anton Slepyshev

Matt Hendricks- Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell

Brandon Davidson - Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Anton Lander

Injured: Andrew Ference (hip), Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Darnell Nurse (foot), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Jujhar Khaira (upper body)

 

Status report

After activating Subban, Nashville sent defenseman Alexandre Carrier to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. ... Edmonton recalled forward Anton Lander from Bakersfield of the AHL on Thursday. Lander is not expected to play against the Predators … Benning will return to the Oilers lineup after missing the game against the Panthers with an illness … Hunt was claimed by Nashville off waivers from the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, but has yet to play a game for the Predators. Hunt began his NHL career with the Oilers.

 

Who's hot

Ellis had two goals against Calgary on Thursday … McDavid has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past eight games. … Draisaitl has five points (two goals, three assists) in his four games. … Nugent-Hopkins has three points (one goal, two assists) in a three-game point streak. 

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