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RECAP: Predators 2, Oilers 0

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

NASHVILLE, TN  – The Oilers outshot the Predators 31-26 but couldn’t find the back of the net, and dropped a 2-0 decision in Nashville.

Edmonton’s power play finished 0-for-5 on the night.

“Our offence has to get better and a lot of that has to do with our power play,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I thought our power play sucked the life out of us so that was disappointing. Yet, some of the things we were doing on the power play were the right things but we killed it ourselves with poor execution, poor passing. It was a little cute. We didn’t win many puck battles, like we did 5-on-5, surprisingly. That was disappointing.”

Cam Talbot came up big for the Oilers in the first period, helping his team withstand a late push by the Predators. Edmonton outshot Nashville 7-1 to start but after a penalty kill, in which the home team got a couple shorthanded scoring chances, the Predators outshot the Oilers the rest of the way. Nashville finished the first outshooting Edmonton 13-1 following the original 7-1 tally.

Talbot made a couple big saves, including one with just under 10 minutes to go in the period. Calle Jarnkrok set up Filip Forsberg on the backdoor with a nice pass but Talbot slid across the crease to make the save.

The Oilers goalie again made a huge save in the opening minutes of the second. Colin Wilson split the defence and came in one on one with Talbot. The netminder threw his blocker up and denied the breakaway chance.

“I felt pretty good,” said Talbot. “I felt we had a pretty good jump on them early. We came out and we executed our game plan like we wanted to. We wanted to kind of take them out of it early and they made a big pushback. I thought I made some good saves early on in the game to keep it 0-0. I think we just have to find a way to get bodies and pucks to the net and start banging those in and, at the same time, limit those turnovers that have cost us.”

At 18:52 of the second, Nashville took a 1-0 lead. A turnover allowed the Predators to get a 2-on-1 rush and Wilson set up Craig Smith for the opening goal. Smith’s shot went in off the crossbar.

The Oilers nearly tied the game at 6:07 of the third. Teddy Purcell passed the puck to Taylor Hall in front and the Oilers forward shot it on Pekka Rinne. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went to the net to clean up the rebound, but kicked the puck in.

A giveaway behind the Oilers net led to the Predators taking a 2-0 lead. At 13:02 of the third, Forsberg buried his first of the season out in front of Talbot.

“(We make) a couple glaring mistakes and turnovers, and then it’s in the net. We should be able to overcome that with some of the offence that we have. It will come in time. A lot of mixed emotions right now from probably everybody in the locker room.”

That would prove to be all the insurance Nashville would need as Rinne closed out a 31-save shutout, the 37th blanking of his career.

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