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Three-goal third yields fourth straight "W"

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Vern Fiddler
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Oilers
Predators forward Vern Fiddler celebrates his first goal of the season, scored 1:05 into Wednesday's contest on a deflection.

The Nashville Predators took a 2-1 lead into the third period Wednesday night in Edmonton and outscored the Oilers 3-2 in the final 20 minutes to record a 5-3 win in Rexall Place. The victory is Nashville's fourth in a row and sixth straight on the road. The Predators, who are 8-0-1 in their last nine games, became the first team to beat Edmonton at home this season. The Oilers had won their first six games at Rexall Place.

Scottie Upshall got the game winner for Nashville, picking up the rebound of Paul Kariya's shot from the left side and firing it past goaltender Dwayne Roloson with 3:16 left in the third period. Upshall's tally made it 4-2 in favor of Nashville. Edmonton mustered a third goal with six attackers on the ice and 1:04 on the clock, but David Legwand's empty netter with just over three seconds remaining sealed the victory for the Predators.

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Nashville's Ryan Suter and Edmonton's Ryan Smyth traded goals earlier in the third--a period in which the Predators outshot the Oilers 12-9.

Forward Vern Fiddler scored 1:05 into the game and defenseman Shea Weber added a power-play tally at 15:53 of the first to give the Predators a 2-0 lead after one period of play. Edmonton speedster Ales Hemsky cut the margin in half with a breakaway goal 7:41 into Period 2, but Predators goaltender Chris Mason was vital in keeping his club on top.

Mason's most impressive saves came in the final few minutes of the second period. He got across the crease to shut down a 2-on-1 chance featuring Shawn Horcoff and Raffi Torres at the 15:15 mark, then denied an initial shot by Petr Sykora and a quick rebound bid by Joffrey Lupul in the final minute of the period.

Chris Mason stops Joffrey Lupul
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Oilers
Goaltender Chris Mason stops Oilers forward Joffrey Lupul on a breakaway four minutes into the game. Mason turned aside 22 of Edmonton's 25 shots for his second win of the season.

Nashville outshot Edmonton 20-16 through two periods and finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play. The Predators penalty killers blanked the Oilers on three power-play chances--all in the first period. The visitors then showed good discipline by staying out of the box for the final 40 minutes.

The Predators now have two days off before their next match-up on this four-game road trip. They'll conclude their nine-day journey with a Saturday night tilt in Minnesota against the Wild.

NOTES: Vern Fiddler, Shea Weber, and Scottie Upshall each netted his first goal of the season Wednesday... Paul Kariya posted three assists, the first of which was the 800th point of his NHL career. Kariya now has 802 points in 751 NHL games and is tied for the team lead in scoring (12 points) with Steve Sullivan, who posted a pair of assists Wednesday... David Legwand registered a goal and an assist, marking his second multipoint game of the season... The Predators penalty killers are a perfect 7-for-7 over the past two games... The Predators have scored a power-play goal in each of their last four games... Nashville is now 7-0-1 when leading after two periods... Defenseman Ryan Suter tallied once and has goals in back-to-back games, extending his career high in goals for a season to three... Nashville scored five goals for the first time since the second game of the season, a 6-5 loss at Minnesota... Forward Martin Erat was sidelined with bruised ribs after blocking at shot at the conclusion of Tuesday's game in Vancouver. Forward Jerred Smithson was also scratched from the lineup... Attendance at Rexall Place was 16,839, Edmonton's seventh straight shutout of the season.


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