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Under the Scope: Oilers vs Predators

by Karmela Arocena / Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers were hoping to end their three game homestand tonight with a win against a Nashville Predators team that sat 4th in the Western Conference.  The score was close for most of the game, the Oilers were never down by more than one goal, but a lack of puck luck put the Oilers on the losing end of a 3-2 shootout game.

The first and second periods were fairly tame.  The Predators scored a goal 11:53 in the first, but nothing was added until the third.  The Oilers tied the game at one at 2:03 of the third when Liam Reddox fed the puck to Andrew Cogliano.  The Predators did regain their lead at 14:05 of the third, but Taylor Hall tied it up again two minutes later, bringing the game into OT.

The Predators started OT on the powerplay, but the PK unit of Liam Reddox, Tom Gilbert, and Andrew Cogliano, along with goalie Devan Dubnyk, kept the score tied at 2.  When the Oilers got their own OT powerplay, the game looked done when Shawn Horcoff shot the puck just past Pekka Rinne.  The puck didn't fully cross the line though, and the goal was called off.

Cody Franson was the only player who scored in the shootout, ultimately leading to a Nashville win.

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

With the Oilers successfully killing off a Preds' powerplay in OT, they were quickly able to get one of their own.  Shawn Horcoff looked to almost end the game with the man advantage, when he slipped the puck just past Pekka Rinne. The goal was called off for not fully crossing the line though, and the Predators took their lucky break and forced a shootout where Cody Franson scored the only shootout goal to win it for Nashville.

40 The Oilers finished the night with a 40% efficiency rate in the faceoff dot, winning 22 of 55 draws.  Shawn Horcoff took the most draws, going 11 for 20.
14 It was easy to tell how aggresive the Oilers were tonight when it came to puck posession against the Nashville Predators.  The team managed 14 takeaways.
6 Both Tom Gilbert and Theo Peckham were willing to sacrifice the body tonight.  Each of them recorded 6 blocked shots in the game.
4 Jeff Petry continues to prove why he's a valuable assest to the Oilers.  The young defenceman had four shots on the night, the most of any player on the team tonight.

Joel Ward
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 -1 7

Taylor Hall
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 3

Alexander Sulzer
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 E 2

Pekka Rinne
24 22 2 64:28 .917

Devan Dubnyk
28 26 2 65:00 .929

Shea Weber - D

  29:36 - 2 shots, E Rating

Tom Gilbert - D

28:41 - 0P, +1 rating

The goal that got the Oilers on the board and spark some life into the team proved to be the play of the game.  When Liam Reddox gained possession of the puck, he was able to skate it up the ice, make a fancy move to get around Nashville defenceman Cody Franson, and then feed the puck to Andrew Cogliano who was driving to the net.  The speedy centre then scored to tie the game.

Rookie Taylor Hall had an excellent game.  In his 19:50 minutes of ice-time, the first year forward scored a goal at 16:13 of the third to tie the game at 2.  In the extra time, he continued to make chances, many of them coming on the Oilers OT powerplay.  Not only that, but he threw a great hit on Jerred Smithson in the first and blocked 3 shots.  His efforts earned him second star of the game.

The game was close for most of the game, and a big reason for that is because of the man in the net.  Devan Dubnyk faced 28 shots in the game and boasted a .929 save percentage.  He was also instrumental in OT, making many key saves when the Predators started the extra frame with the 4-on-3 man advantage.

Taylor Hall isn't known for playing a physical game, but tonight he delivered a raucous hit.  When Nashville forward Jerred Smithson had the puck in the corner of the defensive zone, Taylor Hall wasted no time in throwing a thunderous hit on him into the boards at 10:40 in the first.  Both players went down, but the fans at Rexall cheered on Hall's physical play.

Though the shot clock seemed to clock in at an average number by the end of the game (22 and 28 for the Oilers and Predators respectively), most of them came in the third period or OT.  At the 11:30 mark of the third period, the teams combined for only 3 shots.

"I couldn't see it when I first shot it, but when I saw the replay it was pretty frustrating."

- Shawn Horcoff on his chance on the powerplay in OT that could have ended the game.

Tuesday, January 25 at Phoenix
  7:00pm MT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

After going 0-3 during their 3 game homestand, the Oilers  hope to get a win Tuesday night in Phoenix as they start a two game road trip.

Author: Karmela Arocena |

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