The Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers faced off tonight at Bridgestone Arena, both teams with postseason considerations in mind. Cody Glass saw ice for the Preds again, while Matt Luff was out with non-COVID illness. Mark Borowiecki was also out this game, with Jeremy Lauzon filling in.
The visitors got off to a strong start early, although the Preds initially held their own in shot quality in spite of that thanks to one early push. While the Oilers peppered Saros with shots, the Preds’ defense was mostly able to keep those shots to the outside while getting some close-up chances of their own.
However, with about 7:30 elapsed, Alexandre Carrier took a high-sticking penalty and the Preds went to the kill. The Preds got possession on the delayed penalty by clearing the puck into the empty net, but of course it didn’t count. While the Preds got some more clears once the Oilers’ power play had begun, they regrettably left Leon Draisatl unattended while trying to cover Connor McDavid, and Draisatl scored to put the Oilers up 1-0.
With the teams back to five a side, the Preds continued to struggle to sustain any kind of pressure. They were not helped in this attempt by Luke Kunin interfering with Zack Kassian, putting them shorthanded again. This time, the Preds were able to kill the penalty off and respond with an attack of their own, but Oilers goalie Mike Smith handled Roman Josi’s shot smoothly.
The Preds finished the first period with a push, but were unable to get through onto the scoreboard. A couple of minutes into the second, a hit from Warren Foegele left Lauzon shaken up and put the Preds on the power play, but they were unable to convert. The Oilers took control back after that, pressuring again until Draisatl broke through with a second goal.
Tanner Jeannot took a high-sticking penalty with about six and a half minutes left in the period, but during his own team’s power play McDavid opted to elbow Matt Benning in the jaw, sending Benning’s mouthguard flying and sending the teams to 4-on-4. As Jeannot left the penalty box, Darnell Nurse scored a shorthanded goal to make it 3-0 Oilers.
That did it for the Preds in second, with the Oilers finishing the period with all the momentum.
Matt Duchene got a fantastic chance to start the third period, but Smith made an even better save. Moments later, the Oilers bailed Smith out as he went down on the ice without his stick. The Preds kept up the attack, however, and with a little under four minutes elapsed in the period Colton Sissons pushed a Yakov Trenin rebound for what seemed to be a goal; unfortunately, it was called back for offside.
The recalled goal seemed to stifle the Preds’ momentum, and the Oilers picked back up. Lauzon took a penalty and Draisatl scored another goal, completing his hat trick and giving the Oilers a 4-0 lead. While the Preds got a power play—courtesy of Philip Tomasino drawing a hooking penalty—and got some shots in as the period wound down, that was it for the night.