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game recap

Draisaitl scores twice in third period, Oilers rally past Predators

Smith makes 27 saves; Nugent-Hopkins, Klefbom each has two assists for Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

Draisaitl's blistering PPG

NSH@EDM: Draisaitl nets PPG for second goal of game

Leon Draisaitl sets up in the circle and one-times Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' feed past Juuse Saros on the power play for his second goal of the game

  • 00:47 •

EDMONTON -- Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the third period, and the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Mike Smith made 27 saves in his 600th NHL game, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom each had two assists for Edmonton (29-20-6).

"It's about sticking with it, it doesn't have to be pretty, two points is two points for us," Draisaitl said. "It's a gutty win for us and I think that's huge for our group."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Oilers highlights]


Craig Smith and Nick Bonino scored, and Juuse Saros made 33 saves for Nashville (26-21-7), which had won five of seven.  

"The first 40 minutes I thought we were really good, we played really well for being on the road," Predators forward Ryan Johansen said. "The third period, it just wasn't as sharp for us and that cost us. That's why they're 60-minute games. We have to make sure we're dialed in for 60 next time."

Draisaitl tied the game 2-2 at 3:42 of the third period with his 30th goal of the season. He took a pass from Nugent-Hopkins down the left wing, skated past Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm and scored on a shot from the circle.

Video: NSH@EDM: Draisaitl buries snap shot for 30th goal

Draisaitl made it 3-2 on a 4-on-3 power play at 13:02. 

"We had talked about taking time and space away and we competed hard," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. "I thought both teams played real hard. Our power play came up big for us. You talk about working for your breaks, we had a couple of real good chances in the first and didn't capitalize, and then at the end of the second we got a break on the first power-play goal."

Smith scored at 12:17 of the first period to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. Bonino made it 2-0 at 17:06 of the second period, redirecting a point shot from Dan Hamhuis.

"I thought we deserved better," Predators coach John Hynes said. "I really liked our game, I thought we played well. I thought we played well enough to win. Unfortunately, a couple of bad bounces went in, particularly the first goal, and then we have to find a way to kill that 4-on-3. 

"I think there is a lot to build off tonight's game. Unfortunately, we didn't find a way to be able to win it, but I think if we play like we did tonight, more times than not we're going to find a way to win games."

Video: NSH@EDM: Smith backhands loose puck home in front

Alex Chiasson was credited with a power-play goal at 19:51 to cut the lead to 2-1 after Predators forward Kyle Turris inadvertently kicked the puck into his own net as a shot from Connor McDavid bounced to him. 

"They gained a little momentum from that for sure, and they started the third well and we didn't do a good enough job of being ready to start the third period," Johansen said. "We just have to be sure we're staying in the moment and not let that us get off our game."

McDavid slid into the end boards with Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro at 3:58 of the second period and appeared to bang his left knee. He stayed in the game and was assessed by Edmonton's medical staff prior to the third period. 

"He's got a little bruise on top of his knee or something like that," Tippett said. "They looked at it between periods, he iced it and they wanted to ice him right after the game again. I asked him, 'How are you doing?' and he goes, 'I'm playing. I'm fine.' That was the last I heard of it.

"You get a bruise on your knee, especially with him, there's extra precautionary stuff, but as far as I know, it's nothing serious."

Video: NSH@EDM: Chiasson pots PPG on own goal in front


They said it 

"It's disappointing having the lead going into the third and end up losing. It was a good game, there was a lot of back and forth. I thought it was exciting and fast, but it would have been really nice to get the win." -- Predators forward Craig Smith

"I thought as the game got on we got our legs going, we got feisty on pucks and we created some power plays for ourselves and capitalized on a big goal at the end of the second and had a great third and we were able to get a big two points." -- Oilers goalie Mike Smith


Need to know

Hynes is 7-6-0 with Nashville since he was hired to replace Peter Laviolette on Jan. 7. … Josi had an assist to give him eight in his past nine games. … McDavid and Draisaitl became the first Oilers teammates with at least 30 goals and 80 points through the first 55 games since Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri in 1986-87. … Smith is 7-0-2 in his past nine starts.


What's next 

Predators: At the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, NBCSCH+, NHL.TV)

Video: Draisaitl's two goals power Oilers past Predators

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