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Preds set to host Oilers

by Brian Compton
OILERS (15-29-8) at PREDATORS (28-18-7)


Last 10: Edmonton 1-8-1; Nashville 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. Nashville earned a 3-2 victory at Edmonton on Jan. 23.

Big Story: It's been a rough stretch for the Predators, but they finally got back on track Saturday night when they notched a 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. It snapped a four-game winless streak for Nashville, which enters Monday's action in fourth place in the Western Conference.

"We did enough good things to win," captain Shea Weber said. "I still think we gave up too many chances, but (Pekka Rinne) was really good for us tonight."

Team Scope:

Oilers: Despite jumping ahead to an early 2-0 lead and carrying a 3-2 lead into the final 10 minutes of regulation, Edmonton failed to hang on and suffered a 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night. The Oilers have now lost four in a row.

"We handed it back to them … we handed it right over," Edmonton coach Tom Renney said. "We were a little bit sloppy. I didn't like that at all. Our power play killed us, no question about that. But we were still in the hockey game. Then we handed it back in the third period with some bad decisions."

Predators: Slowly but surely, Nashville is improving on the power play. Since going 3-for-34 with the man advantage over a nine-game span, the Preds have converted three times on their last 10 opportunities.

The penalty kill has also been sharp, turning aside 24 of the last 27 chances. Detroit went 0-for-5 on the power play Saturday night, including a 5-on-3 chance that lasted two minutes in the second period.

"The guys that were out there did a great job in terms of the battle," Predators coach Barry Trotz said after his club snapped a four-game skid. "We forced them to make a couple of unforced errors, got a save, a big draw and a couple of whistles. Those all count and eliminate that power play."

Who's Hot: Oilers forward Sam Gagner has a three-game point streak (1 goal, 3 assists). … Preds goalie Pekka Rinne has allowed two goals or less in 12 of his last 14 appearances, while Weber has a four-game point streak (2 goals, 2 assists).
Injury Report: Oilers winger Gilbert Brule is day-to-day with the flu. Ryan Whitney (knee) is out for the season. … Nashville will be without Francis Boullion (upper body), Marek Svatos (lower body), Cal O'Reilly (leg), Matthew Lombardi (concussion) and Jordin Tootoo (personal reasons).

Stat Pack: Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has lost 13 games in a row. … Preds forward Sergei Kostitsyn is two points shy of 100 in his career.

Puck Drop: "We had lost four games in a row. It was about time we turned it around. We did what we had to do." -- Preds goalie Pekka Rinne

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