The Nashville Predators began their four-game homestand on Thursday night as they host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. They return to Nashville after a thriller 1-0 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Thursday night’s matchup was the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. Against their opponent, The Preds are 0-2-1 in 2021-2022 and 3-3-0 in their last five when hosting. The Predators are 44-29-(3)-4 all-time against the Oilers, including a 22-15-(3)-0 record at Bridgestone Arena.
The Oilers quickly took control of the game soon after puck drop.
Alexandre Carrier was sent to the box for the first penalty of the night. When the 5-on-4 advantage began, Juuse Saros had already made eight saves. With 11:04 left in the first period, Leon Draisaitl earned his first goal of the night while on the powerplay. Draisaitl became the first Oiler since Jari Kurri (1985-86) to hit the 30 goal mark on the road (via Jack Michaels).
With 5:32 left in the first period, the Oilers lead shots on goal 13-3. Saros was hard at work all night with hardly any offensive plays in motion for the Predators.
The second period saw goals from Draisaitl (53g, 51a) and Darnell Nurse (9g, 25a).
The Predators trailed 3-0 going into the final frame of play.
A few minutes into the third period, the Predators saw their first burst of energy with an apparent Colton Sissons goal. However, the goal was ruled no good due to being offside.
Jeremy Lauzon went to the penalty box with 10:19 left in the game and Draisaitl notched his hat trick goal for a 4-0 lead. Mike Smith earned his 43rd NHL career shutout with the victory.
Overall, the Predators came out playing flat. They allowed a talented Edmonton to take control early and never created a real opportunity to fight back. They never generated any momentum, other than the obvious offside and overturned goal.
The Predators will need to re-evaluate strategies and route back to their identity if they want to make a playoff push.
Head Coach John Hynes seemed to be ready to move on from Thursday night’s loss and look forward to playing the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
The Predators are still looking for a playoff spot with only eight games remaining in the regular season. They will have three sets of back-to-back games and only five games left to play at home.