Nashville Predators 3, Edmonton Oilers 2: Kostitsyn, Erat Help Preds Inch Closer to Playoffs

Frederick Breedon

Strong play by Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn lifted the Predators over the Oilers.

After an inspiring and much needed 5-2 shellacking of the Blue Jackets on Saturday, the question was whether the Predators could carry that momentum over and pick up a win against another bottom dweller in the Western Conference.

Edmonton struck first on the power play, but Nashville scored three unanswered to take control. Though the Oilers were able to get one back and tilted the ice in their favor late in the game, Nashville was able to hang on and extend their winning streak to three.

Thoughts and notes about tonight's game:

  • Big story of the game: Partic Hornqvist’s return to action after being out since March 18th. He skated just over 13 minutes and had two shots on goal. Unfortunately, he was the victim of an interference call that led to the Oilers first goal.
  • The first line had their hard hats on tonight. A great shift early in the game led to the game’s first power play opportunity. A little later, Marty Erat kept up that hard work, won a board battle that allowed Mike Fisher to ship a pass to Kostitsyn who made no mistake about burying it.
  • While Kostitsyn won’t live down that line change gaffe any time soon, how great was it to see him make a beeline for the net during the aforementioned board battle? If he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t set himself up for the goal. Keep it up.
  • Ok, last thought about SK47, I swear. Amazing patience and even more amazing sight to pick up Klein (!) crashing the net. Just like they drew it up after Erat’s breakaway failed, I’m sure.
  • It won’t show up on the score sheet, but the primary assist on the Mueller tally goes to Mark Fistric. His missed hit on Yip let Mueller waltz up to Dubnyk all alone to let loose a sweet shot. Tertiary assist to the awesome give-and-go in the neutral zone.
  • Rich Clune may have escaped supplemental discipline for his hit on Artem Anisimov, but there was nothing he could do to get out of the way of Mike Brown in the third period. Yowza.
  • Whoever sneezed to help the puck squeak across the goal line for Edmonton’s second of the night, we’re going to find you.
  • It took all of 11 seconds for the sixth ranked power play to score against the 29th ranked penalty kill back in the first. Oof. You could almost sense trouble brewing in the third, but Rinne had other ideas, stopping a one-time bid from Yakupov. Easily the best save of the night. The next kill held the Oilers shotless. More PKs like that, please.

It became a little more stressful than it should have been, but the Predators go to sleep with another two points under their pillows. The recent home schedule has been rather kind to them, but no one is going to complain about picking up wins from teams below them. The Predators are back in the 8th spot, pending the decision of the Dallas game.

Thursday comes with a chance to sweep the home stand against a team even more desperate than the Predators. If they keep playing like they have been, they might be able to cross a team they should be worried about off the list.

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary

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