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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Predators

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

 
INSIDE THE OILERS

 

Taylor Hall skates Monday plus news and notes from Monday's practice in Nashville.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

 

PRE-GAME REPORT

 

NASHVILLE, TN - The Edmonton Oilers wrap up a five-game road trip tonight with their only Western Conference opponent of the journey this evening: Nashville.

Coming off what could arguably be their best game of the season on Sunday in New York, the Oilers did not make any lineup changes. They'll be going with:

Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov
Pakarinen-Draisaitl-Purcell
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu

Ference-Schultz
Niktin-Petry
Aulie-Fayne

Viktor Fasth gets the start in goal for the third straight game.

PREPPING FOR THE PREDS

Nashville comes into this game with an impressive 9-3-2 record: tops in the tough Central Division. Headed by coach Peter Laviolette, they've been a lot more aggressive this season but still very good defensively.

"They've got some guys that can score. I think they're a +7 on the year on their goals for and goals against and have a great win record," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. "They're still very sound defenisvely. They can definitely score a little bit more and they've got excellent goaltending."

The head coach talked about needing more consistency out of his group as the next step in building for long-term success.

"Doesn't matter what night it is, it's going to be a tough night. We're looking to play with the same pace and passion and responsibilty as we did in New York. We feel like if we can play that game every night, we're going to win a ton of games. If we play that game most nights, we're definitely going to be in the game," Eakins continued.

"That's the next step for the group, to bring that every night."

Eakins stressed that he didn't want his team to change the way they play despite facing a team like Nashville who is very different from the Rangers.

"We've been more worried about our play," he said. "Nashville plays a different system than the Rangers do. We touched on that yesterday. But the message today is, it's about us. I think if you can get your team just worrying about themselves and playing our way. All the habits we're getting better at and detail, the game looks after itself."

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

 

NHL.COM PREVIEW

 

OILERS (6-8-1) at PREDATORS (9-3-2)
 
TV: SNW
 
Season series:
The Nashville Predators defeated the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Oct. 29 behind two goals from right wing Craig Smith. This is the first game between Nashville and the Edmonton at Bridgestone Arena, where they will play again on Nov. 27.
 
Oilers team scope:
Left wing David Perron did not practice Monday because of a maintenance day. Edmonton has the second-fewest points in the Western Conference but has won two straight. The Oilers are 2-2-0 entering the fifth and final game of their road trip. Edmonton's power play is 25th in the NHL (12.5 percent) and has scored one goal in 25 chances over its past seven games. However, Edmonton's penalty killing, 20th at 79.0 percent has not allowed a power-play goal in seven of their past eight games, killing 13 of 15 chances.
 
Predators team scope:
Left wing Viktor Stalberg (lower body) will miss 4-6 weeks after he was injured in the final game of his conditioning assignment with Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Left wing Gabriel Bourque, a healthy scratch the past two games, will play. Forward Colin Wilson (lower body) did not practice Monday and is day-to-day. The Central Division-leading Predators return home following a 4-2-0 road trip. Left wing Filip Forsberg leads all rookies with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and has points in five straight games (five goals, three assists), which is tied for the third-longest active streak in the League. Goalie Pekka Rinne's nine wins are tied for second in the League and he's sixth in goals-against average (1.81) and save percentage (.935). Nashville has the least penalty minutes in the NHL (97).

-- NHL.com
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