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Predators oust Oilers 5-3

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Nashville got on the board quickly, scoring on their first shot of the game at the 1:05 mark. Kimmo Timonen wristed a shot from the left point that was tipped in front by Vern Fiddler and beat Dwayne Roloson through the five hole.

The Predators continued to put on the pressure and had the Oilers' fourth line pinned in their zone for a good 40 seconds but Fiddler took a goaltender interference penalty to get the Oilers out of a jam and put them on the power play.

Seconds into the man advantage, Joffrey Lupul had a breakaway. He tried to go low stick side on Predators starting goaltender Chris Mason but he made a nice pad save to keep his team in front.

Momentum shifted back and forth throughout the period. The Predators had a 5-1 edge in shots but the Oilers evened that at 5-5 thanks to a couple of power plays. Just past the midway point of the period, Nashville got some more pressure on the Oilers to take a 9-5 shot advantage.

Late in the period the Predators scored their second of the game to take a 2-0 lead. Shea Weber teed up a shot from the high slot that found its way through a crowd and into the back of the net.

On the next shift, the Oilers almost got one back. Lupul took the puck in the corner, spun and found Petr Sykora between the circles. Mason made a nice save on Sykora's one timer.

After one, shots on goal were 14-9 for the Predators.

Nashville almost took a three-goal lead early in the second. Fiddler had a wide-open net but instead of trying to lift the puck over Steve Staios who was sprawled out on the ice he tried to skate around him and Roloson recovered in time to poke it away.

Seven minutes into the middle frame, each team had one shot on goal as both sides tried to establish dominance.

Edmonton finally broke through for their first of the game at 7:42. Matt Greene found Petr Sykora at the blueline and he just tapped it over to Hemsky to send the Czech winger in alone. Hemsky made no mistake, firing the puck top corner for his third of the season.

Nashville almost regained their two-goal lead several minutes later on a nice three-way passing play. Legwand dished it over to Jason Arnott who found Dan Hamhuis pinching in but it was tipped wide.

After three icings in a row left the line of Horcoff, Torres and Petersen on the ice for almost two minutes, Horcoff and Torres and a two-on-one right at the end of the shift. Horcoff found Torres breaking toward the net but Mason slid across to make a great pad save.

After two, shots were 20-16 in favour of visiting Nashville.

Roloson made a big stop early in the third, coming across the crease to deny Jason Arnott and keep his team in the game.

Almost five minutes into the period, the Predators finally struck for their third of the game. Ryan Suter took a cross-ice pass from J-P Dumont at the left point and wristed it over the shoulder of Roloson on his blocker side to make it 3-1.

With 12:33 left in the third, the Oilers looked to close the gap to 3-2. Marty Reasoner shovelled the puck on net and Ryan Smyth crashed the crease, causing the puck to trickle across the line. After a lengthy video review, it was ruled that Smyth did not kick the puck in and the goal counted.

The Oilers started putting a lot of pressure on the Predators as they tried to tie the game up. Petr Sykora just missed on a one-timer from the right circle on one of the team's better scoring chances.

Just when it looked like the Oilers might tie the game, Nashville created a turnover and had a two-on-one. Paul Kariya teed up a shot from the left side that Roloson kicked out but Scottie Upshall was right there to put home the rebound.

With 1:04 to play, Marc-Andre Bergeron wristed a shot from the left point that managed to find its way into the top corner behind Mason.

David Legwand added an empty netter to clinch it for the visiting Predators.
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