A monkey off the back in more ways than one this evening as the Nashville Predators beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 for the first time this season. On goals from Weber and Spaling, the Predators won for the first time after losing 4 straight.
Nashville is back in action tomorrow night against Calgary in the end of a back-to-back.
Powerplay – 1 for 4, 25%
Penalty Kill – 3 for 3, 100%
Best Play of the Game: Jordin Tootoo backhands a Craig Smith pass and finds Nick Spaling dead center in front of Nikolai Khabibulin who roofs it over his shoulder, giving Nashville a 2-1 lead 12:21 into the third period.
Worst Play of the Game: Mike Fisher gets absolutely fooled by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who delivers the puck to Jordan Eberle. Eberle roofs it over Lindback and makes it 1-0 Edmonton 7:07 in the first
My Three Stars:
#1: - Nick Spaling – 1g, 0a, +1 on the night. Game winning goal midway through the third on only 3 shots during the night.
#2: - Jordin Tootoo – 0g, 1a, +1 on the night. Although he did grab a 2 minute embellishment, Tootoo had an amazing night with 4 shots on net, drawing two penalties, and was buzzing everywhere
#3: - Nikolai Khabibulin – 29 saves on 31 shots. Khabibulin kept the Oil in this game tonight, otherwise Nashville would have had a much larger win than 2-1.
Could the third time be the time for Nashville against Edmonton?
The first period started out a little rough for the Predators. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins waltzed right around Mike Fisher to find Jordan Eberle who roofed it past Anders Lindback on the first Oilers shot of the night making it 1-0 Edmonton at 7:07. This may have awoken Nashville a bit, as they finished the first period outshooting Edmonton 6-4.
The second period? Much different story. With 4 penalties handed out at the 6:35 mark, Nashville ended up with a 5 minutes major powerplay after an egregious call on Ryan Jones for elbowing. However, after subsequent penalties during their powerplay, Nashville ended up with just 1 minute of powerplay time, yet all they needed was one second. In the final moment of their powerplay, Shea Weber fired a wrister past Khabibulin to make it 1-1 at 11:34 of the second.
To say the Predators second period was their best in a while is an understatement, as they outshot Edmonton 16-7 during the frame. Nashville was swarming everywhere they could but Khabibulin and the Oilers were up for the test.
Nick Spaling would break the tie midway through the third, however, scoring on a nice backhand feed from Jordin Tootoo to make it 2-1 Nashville with only 7 minutes to go. The Predators would hold on, breaking the losing streak as they go into Calgary tomorrow night for the final of a back-to-back
Stay tuned to The Predatorial tomorrow morning for the gameday preview of the Flames game!
Stay frosty, friends.