Don’t let the standings fool you when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, and the Nashville Predators saw why on Thursday night in their fast-paced 3-2 shootout loss.
Getting a point out of this game is still a positive result as the Predators have seven of an eight possible points over their last four games after going on a four-game losing streak. They’ve reversed the tide and remain right in the thick of the top spot in the Central Division.
It’s a shame to see it end in that fashion in the shootout. The overtime period was extremely entertaining and back-and-forth. Here’s the top takeaways from last night’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Once again the Predators lean too heavily on Saros to save them
This is probably going to remain a common theme for the remainder of the season, and into the playoffs if indeed the Nashville Predators get there.
Juuse Saros had to muster up another 40-plus save performance to at the very least get the Predators into overtime and get a crucial point in the standings. He was incredible yet again down the stretch when the Oilers were giving the Predators defense all they could handle.
The Oilers piled up 46 shots on Saros, with 16 of them coming in the third period and overtime. Saros kepth the Oilers off the scoreboard until McDavid put up an elite move in the shootout to secure the win for the Oilers.
Saros now has 40-plus saves in seven games this season and has gone 5-0-2 in those games. A wild stat, whereas some of Saros’ losses have come when he didn’t face all that many shots:
Nashville Predators power play doesn’t take advantage
One key area where the Predators have turned around their season expectations is through their suddenly productive power play. Their eighth in the NHL in power play percentage, but last night was a dud in this department.
The Predators went 0-for-3 on the power play, including missing out on an early attempt within the first minute of regulation.
Unfortunately the power play had a hard time getting set up, and kind of morphed back into old problems with this unit. Not many good looks on the Edmonton goaltender as the Predators once again failed to managed too many shots on goal with only 30.
It’s obvious that if the Predators are going to have any playoff success this year, the power play will have to be reliable. It’s been that for most of this season, and will need to continue to do so against the top-tier teams.
Forsberg is still on a mission for greatness, and a fat payday
This is becoming almost a regular occurence for Forsberg. He’s piling up the hightlight reel goals as he did to open the scoring last night with some pinpoint accurancy:
Forsberg is on pace to easily break Viktor Arvidsson‘s franchise record for goals in a season at 34. The way his is willing his way to score goals, and in a variety of different ways, is definitely some elite level stuff.
The Predators are heavily relying on Forsberg, and also Duchene, to carry the scoring load recently. The scoring has fallen off from the depth a bit.
Forsberg is also near the top of the NHL in goals per game, with only Auston Matthews and Leon Draisaitl ahead of him among regular skaters of 30 games or more.
Up next the Nashville Predators will take on the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. They have a nice break to heal up and get refreshed as they’re sitting in 2nd place in the division and five points behind the Colorado Avalanche