Edmonton Oilers (6-8-1) at Nashville Predators (9-3-2)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 11, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Nashville Predators -184 / Edmonton Oilers +167 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Edmonton Oilers head into Nashville coming off an impressive victory on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. It was a spirited effort from this young group that looked like they were excited to play on a big stage and show off their talents. Edmonton used their speed and out skated the New York Rangers from the drop of the puck. That’s an impressive feat considering the Rangers pride themselves on their speed and skating. Sunday night the Oilers were leaving the Rangers a step behind all over the ice. Edmonton won all the one-on-one battles, all the races to loose pucks, and they got the victory they deserved in this one. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was at the center of things again for Edmonton as he continues his strong play. The young center buried a feed in the first period for his fifth goal of the season to give the Oilers the early lead. New York would tie the game before the end of the period but it was Edmonton who came out flying in the second. The Oilers outshot the Rangers 13-6 in the second period and 33-21 for the game. Benoit Pouliot assisted on Nugent-Hopkins first period goal and he was the recipient of a beautiful feed from the young center as he ripped a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Oilers the lead. Edmonton did a great job in the third period limiting New York’s chances and the Oilers got an empty net goal from Teddy Purcell to seal the 3-1 victory. It clearly wasn’t New York’s best effort of the season but this is the type of win that can really instill confidence in a young club like the Oilers. Edmonton is still in the process of learning how to win and being able to go into a building against a team that was in the Stanley Cup Finals last season and get a victory is huge for them. Viktor Fasth was strong in goal for the Oilers, stopping 20 shots to pick up his second victory of the year.
For the Nashville Predators this season has been about the return of Pekka Rinne and his dominance. Nashville is 22nd in the league in goals per game, averaging just 2.43, but they’re leading the Central Division with a 9-3-2 record. Peter Laviolette is going to do his best to bring more tempo and offense to this club but so far it has been the defense that continues to lead them. The Predators are allowing just 1.93 goals per game, tied for third in the league, and Rinne has been right at the center of it. After his injury plagued season last year there were concerns about how Rinne would rebound but the Finnish netminder has been great. Saturday night his 28 saves shut down the Blues and snapped their seven game winning streak as the Predators pulled out a 2-1 victory. Filip Forsberg tied the game at 1-1 with his sixth goal of the season in the second period and with under seven minutes remaining it was James Neal scoring his eight of the season to give the Predators the go ahead goal. Neal has been everything the Predators could have hoped for since acquiring him from the Penguins this off season, now they just need to find a way to get some other guys going. If Rinne can continue to play like this the Predators are going to in the thick of things in the Central Division. There’s a lot of competition in the Western Conference but with a goaltender playing at this level it’s going to give them an edge in a lot of games.
Edmonton is going to want to finish this five game road trip strong and with a winning mark at 3-2. The Oilers dropped the first two contests but wins over Buffalo and New York set them up here for a solid trip. Nashville needs to find a way to clog things up and slow this game down and they should be fine.