By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators were shutout by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night 4-0. Unable to maintain momentum after their 3-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, Nashville now needs to move on to Wednesday night’s tilt against those same Red Wings, this time at Joe Louis Arena.
The shutout was the first of Devan Dubnyk’s career. The 14th overall first round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2004 stopped all 37 shots thrown his way. Dubnyk’s record improves to 6-5-6 this season. Edmonton has a League-low 16 wins.
“We talked about before the game that it was a must win situation for us,” Dubnyk said, “We have to stop being satisfied with playing well and being close–we have to start winning games. It was a good feeling for everybody to win a game with a little authority and not squeak one out where we’re running around in the last minute and really take it to them for most of the game.”
Pekka Rinne let in four goals on 20 shots after stopping all 35 shots on Saturday night. Rinne’s record drops to 18-14-5 on the season.
The first period was all Nashville for the first 10 minutes. By the three minute mark, the shots on goal were 7-to-1 in favor of the Predators. The Oilers never registered their second shot on goal until the midway mark of the period. With that second shot, the tide began to turn.
First, Dustin Penner went in on Rinne all alone, but was unable to get the puck up on the Predators netminder. Then, the Oilers took the 1-0 lead on a goal by Andrew Cogliano. Jordan Eberle passed the puck along the crease right in front of Rinne to an open Cogliano. It was Cogliano’s eighth goal of the season. Taylor Hall picked up the other assist.
With Edmonton scoring after Nashville dominated most of the play early on, frsutration began to set in.
“I think it was frustrating,” Predators Captain Shea Weber said, “Especially when they got that first goal; I think we kind of sagged on the bench. It’s tough. We did have a great first period. We had a lot of chances, and we just didn’t capitalize. And credit to them, they capitalized on their chances.”
After the first period, Nashville held a 16-6 shot lead, but trailed the game. In the second period, the Oilers built on their lead while dominating most of the play, limiting Nashville to six shots on goal.
The Predators hit the post twice in the first three minutes of the second period. Marcel Goc found the pipe just 45 seconds into the period and Ryan Suter did the same on the power play just over a minute later.
After a penalty-free first period, Edmonton was shorthanded three times in the second period and two additional times in the third. Nashville sent the Oilers to the man advantage twice in the middle frame. No one scored on the power play.
Edmonton came close to making it a 2-0 game with Goc in the box for tripping Linus Omark. Eberle went in on goal firing a backhanded in on goal, but the Predators netminder reached back with his blocker and stopped the puck from crossing the goal line. The play was reviewed but determined that the puck did not entirely cross the goal line.
The Oilers did take a 2-0 lead at 11:03 into the second period when former Nashville Predator Ryan Jones beat Rinne. It was Jones’ 12th goal of the season. Colin Fraser and Liam Reddox picked up the assists.
Early in the third period, the Oilers took a 3-0 lead. Jordan Eberle scored after crashing into Rinne at 4:35 of the final frame, deflecting a shot taken by Jim Vandermeer passed the Predators netminder. Nashville protested the goal citing goaltender interference but the goal was allowed and play resumed. Andrew Cogliano picked up the other assist.
Head Coach Barry Trotz thought the third goal should not have been allowed. “It was totally interference. Please, we scored a goal in Philadelphia where we never touched the goaltender and got it called back, but Pekka gets run over and they allow that? To me, right there was ‘game, set and match,’ Trotz said.
The Oilers added a fourth goal 2:23 later when Dustin Penner made it a 4-0 lead on a breakaway that went five hole on Rinne. Ales Hemsky picked up his 22nd assist of the season. Rinne was pulled and Anders Lindback took over for the last 12:57 of the game, seeing only two shots on goal.
Nashville now needs to forget about the loss and get ready for their game in Detroit on Wednesday night. Detroit beat the New York Rangers on Monday and now have a 7-point lead over the Predators.
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