Strength in the Defensive Zone
The first key to beating the Edmonton Oilers is shutting down their top line with strong defensive coverage.
The Predators have been a good team on defense this season, averaging 23.66 shots against per game, which puts them in the top third in shots against among teams this season.
According to moneypuck.com, when it comes to Goals Against per-60, the Predators have the seventh-lowest in the NHL at 2.21 GA per game. Edmonton has been a middle of the road team this season in terms of Goals For Per Game, but their top line has excelled tremendously, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl being first and third in the NHL in points, with 108 and 102 points, respectively.
Shutting this superstar duo down is going to be the biggest priority for the Predators, but this year, the team has proven that they have the ability to play a full 60 minutes of defensive minded play.
McDavid and Draisaitl thrive when the ice is open, and there is space to get creative and showcase speed, so taking away that space with tight coverage in the defensive zone and aggressive play in the neutral zone, the Oilers top forwards will be kept in check.
That tight coverage will be the biggest key to coming away with the two points that the Predators desperately need.