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Under the Scope: Oilers at Predators

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

It was a tale of two games. One lasted 10 minutes, while the other covered the remaining 50. In both, goaltender Devan Dubnyk was the star that was deservingly credited with his first career NHL shutout in a 4-0 victory over Nashville.

After coming away with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss Saturday night in Columbus, the Oilers were looking to establish a strong start and carry the momentum throughout the course of 60 minutes tonight. As the game began, however, Nashville carried the play and established a strong tempo that pushed the limits of this young Oilers squad.

After the opening 10 minutes had been played, the Oilers were being out-shot by a commanding 13-3 margin, with a number of five-star scoring chances being turned aside by the Oilers' confident rookie goaltender. After preserving the 0-0 stalemate through the first two TV timeouts, Dubnyk was finally rewarded with the offensive support that he required.

Jordan Eberle and Andrew Cogliano connected at 14:27 of the first period to give the Oilers a 1-0 advantage after being thoroughly out-shot to this point in the game. Dubnyk was the answer that provided the opportunity for the Oilers to rebound.

Following this point, the game was in Edmonton's control. Three additional markers would be added courtesy of Ryan Jones, Jordan Eberle, and Dustin Penner. Despite some late third period power-play chances, the Predators were unable to respond as Dubnyk backstopped his club to a dominating shutout win.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

From the drop of the puck, Nashville came out swinging as they searched for the game's opening goal. Edmonton, still finding its feet early in the tussle, was unable to respond in the opening 10 minutes. Devan Dubnyk, however, was there to keep his team in the game. In total, the Oilers goaltender accumulated 13 saves in the period's first half, and provided a spark for his club who desperately needed one. Following that point, the Oilers equaled the Predators in shots (3-3) to the end of frame; one included the ice-breaking marker, courtesy of Andrew Cogliano and his eighth of the season.

35 The Oilers were only successful on 35% of the draws tonight. Leading the way for the visitors was Sam Gagner who finished with a 4-3, 57% outing in the faceoff dot.
36 Emphatically, the monkey was thrown from the back of Colin Fraser. His assist on Ryan Jones' second period goal was his first point in 36 games.
16 Although the Oilers had tremendous even-strength success tonight, the power-play continues to struggle. After going 0-2 tonight, a streak of 0-16 has emerged. That scoreless drought also contributes to a 3-73 stretch overall.
6 Of the Oilers' 20 hits that were dished out tonight, Theo Peckham recorded six of his own. With 144 on the season, Peckham now sits 14th among the NHL hit leaders.

Devan Dubnyk
37 37 0 60:00 100

Ryan Jones
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 1

Andrew Cogliano
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +2 2

Pekka Rinne
20 16 4 46:55 .800

Devan Dubnyk
37 37 0 60:00 100

Shea Weber - D

  25:17 - 0P, -1 rating

Ladislav Smid - D

22:45 - 0P, +2 rating

For Colin Fraser, this particular play was special for a number of reasons. Not only did his feed to Ryan Jones put the Oilers up 2-0 at 14:23 of the second, but it also happened to be his first point in 36 games. After rushing down the wing on his off-side, Fraser eyed a lane to a streaking Jones in the slot. Fraser wasted no time in sending the puck across, connecting with Jones who tapped the puck by Pekka Rinne to establish a two-goal lead. Following the goal, Jones and his teammates celebrated in audible ecstasy that could be heard throughout Bridgestone Arena.

Devan Dubnyk was superb this evening, recording 37 saves in a shutout performance; his first as an NHL goaltender. While the commanding win was certainly a highlight, the team wouldn't have been given a chance without the first period heroics of the man who stole the show and frustrated the Predators on numerous occassions. Of Dubnyk's 37 saves, 13 were made in the opening 10 minutes when Nashville looked to establish an early lead. Dubnyk said no, and his team quickly picked up the slack.

After enduring a slow start to the season, speedster Andrew Cogliano has seen quite a turnaround in his overall offensive confidence. On this night, Cogliano scored the game-winning goal with the ice-breaker at 14:27 of the first, and he would later add an assist to further seal the Oilers' commanding triumph. Although his faceoff numbers struggled (3-13, 19%), his recent offensive production has been a bright spot of late as he looks to further cement his refined role on this rebuilding Oilers squad.

After the Oilers were able to escape the opening 20 minutes with a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard, an additional tone was required for the team to sustain the advantage throughout the evening. Theo Peckham did just that, with the ceremonious introduction of the physical game. Only 1:29 into the second period and with the Predators attacking on the rush, Peckham delivered a thunderous hit to Nashville's Patric Hornqvist as he stepped up at the defensive blueline in search of a victim.

After Head Coach Tom Renney made some additional changes to the lineup tonight, a more balanced attack was seen with everyone providing a contributing role. Each and every player in the Oilers lineup against the Predators played more than 10 minutes. Colin Fraser represented the lowest ice-time total, with a respectable figure of 10:41.

"You know they're going to come out hard and it's important to weather that. If they get a couple, then they kind of continue to roll with it and that's when things get ugly. But if you can weather that, which is what we did, I thought we got our feet under us and kind of took control of the game after the first period."

Devan Dubnyk on the start vs. Nashville

Wednesday, February 9 vs. Chicago
  7:30pm MT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

The Oilers now return home to Edmonton to begin a long six-game homestand. First up, the Chicago Blackhawks pay a visit to Rexall Place this Wednesday. Game-time is 7:30pm MST and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet West.

Tickets are still available. Click here to purchase.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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