The Nashville Predators make their third stop in a four-game Canadian road trip tonight, when they take on the last-placed team in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers.
Nashville is coming off a befuddling 5-4 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames that saw the Predators blow a two-goal lead in the third period. The club only managed one point out of the contest, despite Eric Nystrom becoming the first Predators player to ever score four times in a single contest.
Here are the quick thoughts and updates for tonight’s contest between the Nashville Predators (23-22-8) and the Edmonton Oilers (15-32-6):
- UPDATE. The Predators will indeed be without two forwards tonight, but only one of the two originally reported:
— KWilsonPreds (@KWilsonPreds) January 27, 2014
- From earlier this afternoon:
Nystrom and Stalberg are battling illness and missed the morning skate for #Preds. Questionable for tonight. Beck likely to play.
— Willy Daunic (@WillyD1025) January 26, 2014
- The sudden loss of two Nashville forwards would be big of course, especially when one of them scored four goals in the team’s previous game. Nystrom increased his scoring output by more than 50 percent in one contest, going from seven to 11 goals on the campaign.
- Forward Taylor Beck was called up from Milwaukee last week but has been a healthy scratch for the two games he’s spent with the big club.
- Predators goaltender Devan Dubnyk returns to Edmonton for the first time after being traded. His return home does not come in the manner the netminder envisioned, however, as he will back up Carter Hutton.
- Dubnyk was given a second chance in Nashville’s last contest and was again given four goals in support by the Predators offense, but the new Preds goalie turned in another poor performance and lost his second game with Nashville, again by a score of 5-4.
- Hutton, on the other hand, has become the most reliable option for the Predators over the last two weeks. He seeks to extend a personal four-game winning streak tonight.
- Ben Scrivens gets the nod in net for the Edmonton Oilers. Scrivens was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings a few hours after the Oilers dealt Dubnyk to Nashville. The netminder has gone 0-2 in two starts with his new club.
- Despite only 15 wins all season, the Oilers won their only previous matchup with Nashville on Thanksgiving Day by a score of 3-0. Ilya Bryzgalov had the shutout for Edmonton.
- Edmonton has struggled mightily over the last three seasons (or more than that, depending on who you ask), but they often play well against the Predators. The team from Music City will need to be careful to not overlook the speed and talent up front for the Oilers.
- Taking care of business tonight would help Nashville move up another inch in the wild card playoff race:
— Predlines.com (@PredlinesNSH) January 26, 2014
Faceoff is at 7:00 p.m. (CST) and coverage is on FS-TN.