The Predators enter their bye week on a winning note.
The Nashville Predators welcomed the Edmonton Oilers to town on Tuesday night for their final game before their mandatory bye week and they were able to grab a win by a count of 2-1 behind two first period goals.
The Predators are now winners of two straight and hold a record of 25-11-6 as they head into their mandatory bye week with their next game not coming until January 16 against the Vegas Golden Knights. The win also marks their 11th straight against the Oilers.
“Everyone leaves feeling a little bit better about it,” head coach Peter Laviolette said about the bye week. “You’re here to win hockey games and players don’t feel good when they lose. It puts everybody in the right frame of mind and a chance to get away and rest your mind and rest your body.”
Heading into this one it was no secret that this game was going to be one full of speed, and early on the Predators were the ones with the quicker step. Nashville controlled play in the first period and entered the first intermission with a two-goal advantage.
The Predators’ first goal came on the man advantage thanks to Craig Smith cashing in on a rebound following a shot from P.K. Subban that found Smith’s stick after taking a slight deflection off of Viktor Arvidsson with 11:34 left in the first frame. Arvidsson got in on the scoring to give the Preds a 2-0 lead with 4:29 left in the period after the puck ricochet off of Adam Larsson’s face and sat there for Arvidsson to poke it home.
— p-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 10, 2018
The Predators out shot the Oilers 11-8 in the first 20 minutes of play.
After getting stonewalled by Pekka Rinne on a breakaway chance late in the first period, Connor McDavid got revenge 45 seconds into the second. Last season’s Hart Trophy winner bolstered into the zone around Mattias Ekholm and beat Rinne low to make it a 2-1 contest.
McDavid’s tally was the only one in the middle frame in what turned out to be a much slower set of 20 minutes, pace wise, compared to the first period. Edmonton was able to out shoot Nashville 11-7 in the period.
The third period followed the style of the second period with the game turning into somewhat of a chess match. Both teams created chances, but neither got off to a quick start like what was seen in the first frame. With 5:04 left in regulation it appeared as if Mark Letestu tied things up with a goal from out in front, but the Predators challenged the play for offside and after review it was overturned.
When it was all said and done, Edmonton out shot Nashville by a count of 26-24.