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Rinne, Predators shut out McDavid, Oilers

by Robby Stanley

NASHVILLE -- Pekka Rinne made 31 saves in the Nashville Predators' 2-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

"You don't want to give up any goals," Rinne said. "It's always a good feeling when you have a shutout. It's a compliment to your teammates too. I'm never the only reason if we don't give up any goals. It's my teammates, too, and they played such a good game. I thought especially our penalty kill did an amazing job these first two games."

Rinne has allowed one goal in six periods this season, in a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. He has stopped 56 of 57 shots and Nashville is 8-for-8 killing penalties.

"It's been great," Predators forward Craig Smith said. "We've had a lot of guys step up in certain areas with blocked shots and playing tough down low. That's one of the things we were harping on, and that's a tribute to hard work. We're making some good plays."

Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot made 24 saves. Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid finished with two shots on goal in 18:39 of ice time.

"[Talbot] was very good," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "That last 10-minute period of the first I thought he was superb when we needed him. That was probably our weakest 10 minutes of the night other than the mistakes we made, but he was very good again. That's a real positive."

Smith gave the Predators a 1-0 lead with 1:08 remaining in the second period on an odd-man rush. Colin Wilson led the 2-on-1 and made a cross-ice pass to Smith, who was able to score his second goal.

"I was coming back with a little bit of speed so I was able to jump on it," Smith said. "[Wilson] had a great jump, and he got up there and made a really nice, deceptive pass across. He kind of started the whole thing."

Smith has scored two of Nashville's four goals this season. Predators coach Peter Laviolette said he is happy with the production he's getting from the second line.

"When [Smith] gets his legs going, he's a real impactful player," Laviolette said. "I thought Colin Wilson had an excellent game tonight and could've had a couple of goals himself."

Top-line forward Filip Forsberg gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 13:02 of the third period. Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference turned over the puck behind the net, and Mike Ribeiro passed to Forsberg for his first goal.

"At least we played for more than one period like we did last game," Forsberg said. "I think we played good. They're a really good offensive team, and I think we defended ourselves really well. Obviously we got two goals as well, so it was a solid hockey game for our team."

Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an apparent goal to tie the game 1-1 at 6:07 of the third period, but it was overturned after review ruled he used a distinct kicking motion.

"I was hoping that it was a kick," Rinne said. "I was still a little nervous, you never know. I didn't know if it got a little bit of stick in between the leg and the puck. You never know with kicks. Sometimes it's a good goal, sometimes it's not a goal. My teammates were saying it's a kicking motion clearly so [that] made me feel a little bit more comfortable on the ice. You feel a little nervous when you wait to hear the decision."

Edmonton had five power-play opportunities but did not convert. McDavid primarily played on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Lauri Korpikoski.

"[McDavid] is going to get better as time goes on," McLellan said. "[McDavid] played against two of the top defensive corps and defensive teams in the League so far. Got to experience [Shea Weber and Roman Josi] and how big and strong they are. It will still take some time. He's 18 years old."

Edmonton, which lost its season opener 3-1 at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, will travel to play the Dallas Stars on Tuesday; Nashville will travel to play the New Jersey Devils.

"I see an extension of last season at the end of the year," Laviolette said. "From the All-Star break in, our [penalty-kill] numbers were some of the top in the League. I think that that's a rhythm of the same players being back and understanding the system and what we're trying to do."

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