Skip to main content


Oilers-Predators Preview @NHL

The Nashville Predators didn't have any trouble with Edmonton when the teams met three days ago.

The Predators will now look to finish off a season sweep of the Oilers when the teams wrap up their home-and-home series Tuesday in Nashville.

Nashville (48-21-7) has won all three meetings between the teams this season, including Saturday's 4-0 victory in Edmonton. Alexander Radulov, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Vernon Fiddler each had a goal for the Predators, who have outscored the Oilers 12-5 overall this season. Fiddler has recorded three goals and one assist in the season series.

The victory wrapped up a 1-1-1 road trip for the Predators, who play their next five at home before finishing the regular season at Colorado. Nashville is tied with Detroit on top of the Western Conference and the teams are tied with Buffalo for the most points in the league with 103.

"We only grabbed one of the first four points (on the road trip) so I think it was great to for us to get the win tonight so we can stay among the top teams," said Peter Forsberg, who had two assists. "We've played some tough teams in the last couple of games, but it was great to finish off the trip with three points instead of one."

The Predators, who had dropped four of their previous five, are one win shy of matching their franchise record for victories, set last season. They are just three points off the team record, also set in 2005-06.

"The standings are so close we didn't want to fall back," said goalie Tomas Vokoun, who recorded his career-best fifth shutout. "We've been on top of our division for the whole year and we want to get that home advantage in the playoffs so two points here is worth as much as two points anywhere else. You don't want to get on a slide, especially right before the playoffs."

Chris Mason also has five shutouts for the Predators, who have posted a team-record 11 this season - tied with San Jose for the most in the Western Conference and one shy of New Jersey for the league lead. Nashville is the first team to have two goalies with at least five shutouts since Tony Esposito recorded nine and Gray Smith had five for Chicago in 1971-72, and just the fifth team in NHL history.

The Oilers (31-38-7), meanwhile, were coming off Friday's 4-3 shootout win over Colorado - their first victory in 13 games. Saturday's game was the last at home for Edmonton, which wraps up the season with six on the road.

"What's happened here is something that is going to be largely fixed with a couple months in the summer and getting healthy," coach Craig MacTavish said. "And we also have to go out and add some components so we can turn this around and make next year as enjoyable as two years ago."

MacTavish called the season-ending road trip a "mixed blessing," because his injury-riddled team won't be on display in front of its home fans. Right wing Joffrey Lupul agreed.

"Things have been pretty negative around town here, so it will be nice to get out on the road just with the guys and get to know some of the young guys, and hopefully have a good trip," Lupul said.

View More