Nashville Predators lucky to escape with win against Edmonton

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Two-points are two-points, but the way they were earned draws concerns. The Nashville Predators escaped with a win over Edmonton on Tuesday. They should be thankful.

Two points. That makes 56 on the season, good enough for second in the Central Division, third in the Western Conference. Nothing is more important than that fact alone. But, it could have been – maybe should have been – much worse for the Nashville Predators. They won and that is what matters the most.

There were good moments. Even great. There are other moments that draw concern going forward. The 2-1 win over the fighting McDavid’s almost wasn’t. It came down to .01 of a second.

Luck of the Skate

The Edmonton Oilers had their chances. They out-shot the Predators leading to a 10-6 advantage in high danger chances in 5v5 play. With just over five minutes left in the final period, Mark Letestu slid a puck pass Pekka Rinne. The game was tied. Only for few moments. And all because of a skate.

After further review, resulting from a challenge from Peter Laviolette, the Edmonton goal was disallowed. Video replay showed a player for Edmonton established himself across the blue-line before the puck. His right foot was across the line, and left was in the air. This hokey-pokey lead to an offside call.

The game literally came down to a millimeter.

Thank you, Pekka.

Let there be no mistake. The Predators would not have won the game without some great work by Pekka Rinne. The Oilers took a total of 53 shots, but only 26 were on goal. Conor McDavid accounted for 10 total shots and six on net. He also tallied Edmonton’s only goal.

The defense of the Predators allowed a speedy Oiler’s offense too many opportunities. Rinne was forced to step up. And he did.

It was another game where Rinne had to come up big. There is a reason he is one of the game’s best goalies right now.


The trends continue. When the Nashville Predators score first, they win. On the season, their record is 20-2-3 when scoring the game’s first goal. This time, it was off the stick of Craig Smith. More on that later.

When they lead after the first period? They are 12-2-2.

One goal games are no problem, as the Predators are 7-1 in those situations.

They are also 17-7-2 in games when they outshoot their opponents.

For what is worth, the Predators have won their last 11 games against the Oilers.

Missing in action

Last night, Craig Smith and Viktor Arvidsson earned goals for the Predators. Both players have been on a bit of a scoring drought of late. Smith has accumulated four points in his last 10 games, with only two goals. Arvidsson has the exact same output in those games.

However, Kevin Fiala is nowhere to be seen. After his nine-game point streak, Fiala has earned zero points in an eight-game stretch. Furthermore, he has two games with zero shots. No, his shift numbers have not changed, nor his time on the ice drastically different. With Filip Forsberg out, production from Fiala is crucial.

Complicating things is the lack of performance from Kyle Turris. With one goal and one assist in his last 11 games, Turris has been missing in action. Additionally, those two points were during power plays. For the Predators to survive and advance, Turris needs to step up.

Next: January Statement

Thankfully, the team has the next six days off. The midseason break comes at a great time allowing for rest and refreshing before a key stretch of games. Finishing the month strong will set them up well for the playoff push.