Pekka Rinne was pulled after stopping only 5 of 9 shots from Edmonton in the first period, as the Nashville Predators fell behind early and lost 6-1 to the Oilers. Jason Arnott scored the lone goal for the Preds, meaning that the top line is still the only source of goals for Nashville on the season.
Colin Wilson, making his NHL debut, was impressive in 16:41 of ice time, which included nearly three minutes of power play action. Tellingly, the rookie got more ice time than second line center David Legwand (13:48), as Barry Trotz juggled the lines to try and find a combination that could get a puck past Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who ended up with 40 saves on the night.
Video highlights after the jump...
This one had it all, folks; a lengthy fight between Triston Grant and Zach Stortini to get the crowd into the game, and then early on some good pressure from the Preds; for the first several minutes, it looked like they were ready to take the lead.
Once Edmonton got an opportunity, however, they cashed in; and again, and again, and again. By the end of the first it was 4-0 Oilers, and the boo birds sent the home team into the dressing room for a well-deserved tongue lashing from Coach Trotz.
Dan Ellis got the call to start the second period, and while he stopped an early 2-on-1 to give the home fans some hope, a horrific giveaway by Dan Hamhuis led to the fifth Edmonton score, and left the crowd just looking for some entertainment to make the night worthwhile. After Denis Grebeshkov deked Kevin Klein to the ice and scored on the backhand to push the lead to 6-0, Jason Arnott responded with a goal for Nashville, but that was all the Preds could muster. There were a few decent opportunities (a breakaway by Steve Sullivan being the best), but overall it didn't seem like Nashville could generate many dangerous shots. It was quantity over quality tonight.
Take a look at the CBS Sports shot chart, for example, and see how almost all of Edmonton's shots came from the faceoff dots in, while so many of Nashville's came from further out.
In his debut, Colin Wilson did look poised and effective, separating himself from defenders while carrying the puck, and showing a strong physical presence when needed. It will be interesting to see whether he assumes an even larger role in upcoming games, given the lack of output from established players like Legwand and Martin Erat.