Predators-Oilers Preview

After two losses at home, the Nashville Predators are looking

forward to hitting the road again.

Awaiting them is a young team that is starting to show some


The Predators will try to open 3-0 on the road for the second

straight season when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Monday


Nashville (2-1-1) opened with wins at Columbus and St. Louis,

then returned home and fell 5-2 to Phoenix on Thursday and 3-2 in a

shootout to New Jersey on Saturday.

The Predators will try to regroup on this trip through Edmonton

(1-1-1), Vancouver and Calgary.

“It galvanizes us sometimes if you have a good trip,” coach

Barry Trotz said. “You’re out there in Canada, I think, you know,

you’re sort of the center of attention when you’re coming to


The Predators are unlikely to take the Oilers lightly even

though Edmonton has posted back-to-back league-worst 62-point

seasons. The Oilers and Predators split four games last season.

“We’re going to go out there and be even more motivated,”

Nashville center Colin Wilson said. “We’re going to be playing

another young team here on Monday so I think it’ll be a good


The Oilers’ top line of second-year wingers Taylor Hall and

Jordan Eberle and rookie center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are giving the

once-proud franchise hope, combining for 10 points.

“I think the type of games that we all play, we kind of

complement each others’ games so it’s exciting to go out there and

have the chemistry that we did out there,” Nugent-Hopkins said.

Nugent-Hopkins, the top overall pick in the draft one year after

the Oilers took Hall in that spot, recorded his first hat trick in

a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday. He scored twice on the power

play after Edmonton went 0 for 7 with the man advantage through its

first two games.

The Oilers had 26 shots through two periods before getting

outshot 9-4 in the third and allowing the only goal of the


“It is part of the process and now we’ve got to grow,” coach Tom

Renney said. “And we have to make sure we can battle back and win

games like this.”

Nashville has been outshot in every game. Only two goalies have

faced more shots than the 138 seen by Pekka Rinne, a Vezina Trophy

finalist last season.

Rinne has gone 3-0-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average in five

career starts at Edmonton.

“It’s going to be good for us, just to be together, to be with

the boys and travel a little bit,” Rinne said. “I think it’s going

to be a good thing. It’s going to be a huge trip for us early in

the season.”

Former Predators winger Darcy Hordichuk will be out for the

Oilers after injuring his knee Saturday.

“He’s got a little bit of a knee issue, we’re not sure the

extent of it,” Renney said. “It could be as little as 10 days, it

could be as much as four weeks.”