Oilers 2, Predators 1: The Kids Did Their Part

On a night where Blake Geoffrion scored his 1st career NHL goal, the rest of the Nashville Predators couldn't beat Edmonton goaltender Martin Gerber, a journeyman playing only his 3rd game of the season for the worst team in the league. After dominating the first two periods of play, the Predators were pushed back on their heels for the later stages of the game, and ultimately dropped a shootout decision. The one point earned moves the Preds up to 9th in the Western Conference standings, but many of the teams around them hold a game in hand.

Follow after the jump for your highlights, reaction, and advanced even-strength stats...

After an upcoming road trip the Preds return home Thursday, March 10 vs. Minnesota, so take the OTF Discount and save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game!

  • Those opening minutes looked eerily like many games recently, with the Preds dominating the shot totals but failing to turn that into goals. What finally broke the ice was a great rush by Ryan Suter, disrupting the Edmonton defense before sending the puck to Blake Geoffrion, who made a heady play to take the pass in his skate and then beat Martin Gerber for his first career goal. That was definitely a keeper!
  • Just as nice as that was, though, seeing Jim Vandermeer tie things up less than a minute later was a huge setback. The Preds ended the first period with an 18-7 shooting edge, but nothing to show for it with the score 1-1.
  • Tom Gilbert certainly had a rough night on defense for Edmonton. First, he got hammered into the boards by Jordin Tootoo (on what could have been a dangerous play), then a Cody Franson slap shot got deflected up and hit him on the side of the head.
  • Sergei Kostitsyn's reluctance to shoot finally came to the fore when Crispy called him out for passing up a wide-open opportunity from the slot. The fact of the matter is that he shoots less frequently than any of the regular Nashville forwards, and has all along. He's been fortunate to score as many goals as he has, but don't count on that to continue.
  • That early domination continued into the 2nd, with an 12-6 shooting edge for the Preds, but no scoring to show for it.
  • Sure enough, when the teams came back from the second intermission (and wrapped up the tail end of the second period due to a glass repair issue), Edmonton took over the pace of play and the Preds, in the end, were fortunate to keep the game 1-1 and sent to overtime, then the shootout. Over the course of 3 power plays and 6:00 of man advantage, the Preds mustered but one shot. One.
  • The shootout was your typical coin-flipping contest, with the highlight being Linus Omark's winner for the Oilers, just an incredible demonstration of soft hands and a cool head. This game never should have gotten to that point, however.
  • Give credit to Jerred Smithson for winning 13-of-14 draws on the faceoff dot tonight. He came close to tying efforts in recent years by Buffalo's Derek Roy and Antoine Vermette (then with Ottawa), who put up 14-for-14 performances.

As for your advanced even-strength stats...

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 Mike Fisher C 17:56 4 1 1 2 8 4 +4 16 8 +8
 Sergei Kostitsyn L 16:31 0 1 0 0 9 4 +5 17 7 +10
 Martin Erat R 16:28 3 1 1 1 8 3 +5 17 7 +10
 Joel Ward R 15:49 2 0 0 1 7 9 -2 9 20 -11
 David Legwand C 15:13 2 1 0 0 10 7 +3 18 9 +9
 Jerred Smithson R 12:26 1 0 0 0 6 6 0 9 15 -6
 Colin Wilson C 12:14 2 2 0 0 10 5 +5 19 7 +12
 Patric Hornqvist R 11:45 3 0 0 0 9 5 +4 17 7 +10
 Nick Spaling C 10:07 1 0 0 1 4 4 0 6 10 -4
 Matt Halischuk R 9:02 1 0 1 1 8 2 +6 9 7 +2
 Jordin Tootoo R 8:24 3 0 0 0 8 4 +4 9 9 0
 Blake Geoffrion C 8:13 3 0 0 1 8 5 +3 9 11 -2
 Ryan Suter D 22:13 2 2 1 1 14 6 +8 25 11 +14
 Shea Weber D 21:05 3 2 2 1 14 6 +8 26 10 +16
 Kevin Klein D 18:35 0 1 0 1 7 7 0 12 16 -4
 Jonathon Blum D 16:52 0 1 0 3 5 6 -1 11 14 -3
 Shane O`Brien D 15:01 1 1 0 1 13 8 +5 17 16 +1
 Cody Franson D 12:25 1 1 1 1 11 7 +4 15 13 +2
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