Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Sunday, January 23rd
Game 2: Monday, February 7th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 1st
Game 4: Tuesday, March 22nd

Oilers 1

(23-40-10, 56 pts)

Predators 3

(39-25-10, 88 pts)

8:00 PM ET, March 22, 2011

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
EDM 0 1 01
NSH 2 1 03

D. Legwand (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Suter (Predators - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

P. Hornqvist (Predators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Oilers-Predators Preview


The Nashville Predators are in playoff position, and they know they can't afford to lose now to the worst team in the Western Conference.

The Edmonton Oilers, though, have given them trouble this season, and they'll visit Bridgestone Arena in a key matchup for the Predators on Tuesday night.

Nashville (38-25-10) has won five of six, earning two big victories this past weekend. The Predators beat Detroit 3-1 on Saturday before a 4-3 overtime victory over Buffalo on Sunday.

Rookie Blake Geoffrion scored twice in a 64-second span in the final 2:27 of regulation against the Sabres, giving him his first career hat trick. That set the stage for Martin Erat's winning goal that capped the amazing rally.

"We stole that one," coach Barry Trotz said. "It was looking pretty bleak, then all of a sudden we stayed with it."

Trotz will need his team to do the same against Edmonton (23-39-10). The clubs have split two shootouts at Rexall Place, and the Oilers won 4-0 in the lone meeting at Bridgestone on Feb. 7 behind Devan Dubnyk's 37 saves.

"Every time we go into Nashville, we wonder sort of how we're going to beat these guys because they're very -- I don't want to call it robotic -- but they're very systematic," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "They know how they want to play and they've played that way ever since Trotzie has been there, which is forever."

Pekka Rinne went 5-1-0 with a 3.48 goals-against average in seven starts against the Oilers coming into this season, and he's gone 1-1-1 with a 2.39 GAA versus Edmonton in 2010-11. He is expected to be in goal after backup Anders Lindback made 35 saves Sunday.

Rinne, who had started the previous 20 games, has gone 5-2-1 with a 1.86 GAA with two shutouts in his last eight.

Geoffrion has four goals in his last two games and six in 11 games since making his NHL debut Feb. 26.

"It was awesome to get the win," said Geoffrion, who scored his first career goal in a 2-1 shootout loss at Edmonton on March 3. "That's the main thing."

The Oilers have totaled three goals in going 0-3-1 in their last four on the road, and have scored six times during an overall 0-4-2 stretch. Although he continues to mix in young newcomers like Chris Vande Velde and Teemu Hartikainen, Renney still wants his team to focus on catching Colorado to escape last place in the West.

"Primarily, we want to win," Renney said. "There's no question about that. I want to make sure that the guys that put the jersey on get the opportunity to play and show us what they're capable of, to learn a little bit more about them, but also them about us and our system of play."

Both teams struggle on the power play, with Nashville converting 15.1 percent and Edmonton at a league-worst 13.0. The Predators are 1 for 13 in the season series while the Oilers are 0 for 9.

Dubnyk has a 1.14 GAA in his career versus the Predators while Nikolai Khabibulin is 5-0-1 with a 1.48 GAA in his last six starts against Nashville.