On Saturday night, the Nashville Predators looked to continue their winning ways as they took on the Edmonton Oilers.
The first period started with Edmonton scoring first as Leon Draisaitl scored his 12th of the year to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Nashville would not allow another goal for the remainder of the contest. The Predators would respond when Mattias Ekholm would take matters in his own hands to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period would start with the Preds on the power-play after a Iiro Pakarinen hooking call against Ryan Ellis in the 1st period. Mattias Ekholm would get his second goal of the night, and the game-winning goal, at 1:47 after a tricky bounce.
Nashville would get two more goals in the third period to give themselves a 4-1 victory. The first goal of the third period was a Mike Fisher score only 52 seconds into the period after a beautiful pass from Shea Weber and the final goal was Filip Forsberg with another empty-net goal at 19:24.
Tonight, the Preds travel to Vancouver to take on the Canucks before the All-Star Break.
Keys to Watch
One Line Power
The Vancouver Canucks have built their organization around the play of Daniel and Henrik Sedin. These two players are considered elite forwards in the NHL, and rightfully so. In the 85 games the two brothers have played this season, they have 80 points with a +25 rating. They are able to put together chances that get themselves and their linemates in a chance to score. Nashville has to shut down this one line. After the Canucks first line, there isn’t much firepower outside of Radim Vrbata and Bo Horvat. Stop the first line and you stop the Vancouver scoring machine.
The Emerging Threat
The Predators have been looking for someone to step up and take the next step in their career. Low and behold, Mattias Ekholm has established himself as a scoring threat on the blue line. Most teams focus on the scoring of Roman Josi and Shea Weber, but forget that Ekholm can put together some impressive offensive maneuvers. The Borlange, Sweden native has four points in his last three games with two goals against Edmonton. He is beginning to emerge as a threat that teams will have to contend against which bodes well for the Nashville Predators.
Finish with Some Momentum
Since the beginning of the current road trip, the Nashville Predators have established an impressive streak. In the last two games, the Preds have scored eight goals and Pekka Rinne has only given up two. The penalty kill has been stellar. Nashville is clicking on all cylinders. The Preds need to come out of Vancouver with a win tonight to sustain some momentum. Going into the All-Star Break, the Preds needed some wins. Let’s hope the momentum continues.
The Preds will look to make it three in a row as they travel to Vancouver tonight. It will be another late game with the puck drop at 9:00pm. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.