Nashville out-shot Edmonton 44-20 and drew four power-plays to the Oilers one, but Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves to backstop the Oilers to 6-3 win in Nashville on Tuesday night.
Despite the loss, the Preds remain in the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference by virtue of a tie-breaker over the Detroit Red Wings and sit nine points above the playoff cutline with under 10 games remaining in the regular season.
Now on to the musings.... THREE MUSINGS:A New Line Emerges:
The line of David Legwand
centering Patric Hornqvist
and Gabriel Bourque
was Nashville’s best line tonight, controlling the play on the overwhelming majority of their shifts during tonight’s game. They combined for 14 of Nashville’s 44 shots and all three of Nashville’s goals. Hornqvist also had a potential goal waived off in the middle of the second period. The trio, which was successful for a short stint earlier in the season, was at the forefront of Nashville’s third period comeback Sunday at Anaheim and has now put together four consecutive strong periods together. With the way the Fisher-Erat-S. Kostitsyn line has shouldered the most of the offensive burden for the team since January, the evolution of a second dangerous line can make the Preds a tougher team heading down the stretch run of the season.Scoreboard Doesn’t Match Level Of Play:
The Preds actually out-skated the Oilers for the majority of the game, the Oilers just capitalized on their chances and got a couple of bounces in their direction. But the shots on goal (44-20 in Nashville’s favor) was more indicative of the pace of the game than the score (6-3 in Edmonton’s favor). Nashville came out with good pace and won the majority of the early battles; it felt like the Preds were the better team for the first 16-and-a half minutes of the game, but the Oilers scored on two of their first four shots to lead 2-0. Edmonton then seemed to maintain the better of the play for the end of the first period and first 5 or 6 minutes of the second period, building up a 4-1 advantage. The final 34-to-35 minutes of game action was skewed decidedly in Nashville's favor.A Tale Of 2 Calls:
Edmonton’s second goal was scored when a potential goaltender interference was not called on Sam Gagner. To be fair, Gagner was slightly engaged with Martin Erat
on the backcheck, but still undoubtedly disrupted Rinne with significant contact before Hemsky’s shot. Midway through the second period Patric Hornqvist
’s apparent goal to potentially cut the deficit to 4-2 was waived off citing player in the crease; overhead replays showed both of Hornqvist’s skates clearly outside the top of the crease.POST-GAME QUOTES: Head Coach Barry Trotz on the no-goal call in the second period...
"We have the best referees in the world and DeVo (Paul Devorski) is one of the best in the league. He's been around a while. He has to make a split decision call. From his vantage point, the two (players) are so close, the puck is moving in there, Hornqvist is going forward, the goalie is moving back. A couple (of our) guys said they saw their goalie pushing off; he couldn’t find the puck and his reaction was to push off Hornqvist to find the puck behind him. The referee has to make the call on a snap judgement." Patric Hornqvist on struggling against Edmonton all year…
"Tonight, they scored on every single scoring chance it felt like. They have great skill up front and they really showed it tonight. But over 60 minutes we were the better team. We created a lot of chances; we just couldn’t find the back of the net."Shea Weber on if tonight’s loss was similar to the last loss to Edmonton…
"Not at all. Wasn’t even close. We came out with a lot better effort. They didn’t’ have that many chances. I think the chances they had they scored – so a pretty good job [by them]. You can’t give them breakaways. That’s something we have to clean up. As far as scoring chances, we had a ton we just need to finish."THREE STARS:
1) EDM F Ales Hemsky – 3 goals, 1 assist, +3 plus/minus
2) EDM G Devan Dubnyk – 41 saves; several key breakaway and odd-man rush saves
3) NSH F Patric Hornqvist
– 1 goal, 1 assist, game-high 6 shots on goal; had another potential goal waived off; drew a pair of power-plays for the Preds