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Predators' Forsberg has point streak on line vs. Oilers

by Robby Stanley

OILERS (6-8-1) at PREDATORS (9-3-2)


NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators rookie forward Filip Forsberg will try to extend his five-game point streak Tuesday as the Predators host the Edmonton Oilers.

Forsberg has eight points in the past five games, including five goals. He had one goal in 10 games before that stretch. Forsberg wasn't getting as many shots on goal as he would have liked in those 10 games and made adjustments that have worked well.

"I want to say I'm getting off the shots a little quicker," Forsberg said. "I got too many blocked shots and people got sticks on shots and stuff earlier in the season. I'm just trying to work on that in practice, trying to shoot the puck quicker."

Forsberg is leading the Predators in points with 15 and also leads all rookies in scoring. He attributes his early season success to his linemates Mike Ribeiro and James Neal.

"Every day we just learn more about each other on the ice, and it's just really easy to play with those two players. They're really good players," Forsberg said.

Edmonton will play the final game of a five-game road trip Tuesday in Nashville and try to close it out with a 3-2-0 record. If Edmonton is able to get a win against Nashville, it will be considered a successful trip.

"It's nice that we're .500 in it right now and we have a chance tonight to make it a better than .500 record, and that's exactly what we were looking to do before the trip," Oilers forward David Perron said.

Edmonton's top line has been leading the way offensively. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has four points in the past four games and has helped carry the offense during the absence of Taylor Hall, who is out with a sprained MCL.

"Our top line has been our best line, and that's what we need every night," Perron said. "I think eventually they're going to need support offensively, and I think that's maybe one thing we can improve on a little more."

Nashville leads the Central Division and defeated Edmonton in the only game between the teams this season, 4-1 on Oct. 29. Edmonton goaltender Viktor Fasth is 4-0-0 against Nashville in his career and will get the start Tuesday.

Edmonton has won two games in a row after a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and a 3-1 win against the New York Rangers on Sunday. Fasth started each of those games. Nashville has also won two in a row and returns home Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 25.

Here are the projected lineups:


Benoit PouliotRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

David PerronMark ArcobelloNail Yakupov

Iiro PakarinenLeon DraisaitlTeddy Purcell

Matt HendricksBoyd GordonJesse Joensuu

Andrew FerenceJustin Schultz

Nikita NikitinJeff Petry

Keith AulieMark Fayne

Viktor Fasth

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Luke Gazdic, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin

Injured: Taylor Hall (sprained MCL)


Filip ForsbergMike RibeiroJames Neal

Matt CullenDerek RoyCraig Smith

Olli JokinenCalle JarnkrokGabriel Bourque

Eric NystromPaul GaustadTaylor Beck

Roman JosiShea Weber

Anton VolchenkovSeth Jones

Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Victor Bartley

Injured: Mike Fisher (ruptured Achilles tendon), Viktor Stalberg (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body)

Status report: Fasth has a 1.45 GAA and .943 save percentage against the Predators in his career. … Klefbom and Marincin were the odd men out on defense at the morning skate. … Injuries to Stalberg and Wilson will put Bourque on the Predators third line. … Volchenkov will return from a four-game suspension, which will make Bartley the healthy scratch on defense.

Who's hot: Nugent-Hopkins has four points in the past four games for the Oilers and nine points in the past 10 games. … Rinne is 4-1-0 in his past five games, allowing nine goals in that span.

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