Ryan Ellis leads Predators past Oilers 3-2 in shootout
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Ryan Ellis made sure Nashville stayed on track away from home.
The defenseman scored in the third period and added the shootout winner as the Predators won their second road game in a row, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night.
”We knew this was an important trip for us,” Ellis said. ”It’s always tough when you go and you play five games on the road, but for our team to come out and play that way on a back-to-back against a good hockey team, to get two points is a good step for us.”
Viktor Arvidsson also scored in regulation for the Predators, who have won three of four on their current road swing. Pekka Rinne stopped 30 shots for the victory and turned aside both Edmonton shootout attempts.
”It was a hard game against a real good offensive team, and I thought all areas of our game were really, really good tonight,” Predators captain Mike Fisher said. ”I thought we played real hard.”
Matt Hendricks and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
”It’s always disappointing when you lose in a shootout like that,” said goalie Cam Talbot, who made 42 saves in the defeat. ”You never want to give up any points, especially now when you want to be separating yourself from the teams below you and catching the teams ahead of us.”
Nashville went up 2-1 seven minutes into the third when Ellis’ long knuckler beat Talbot up high after appearing to deflect off the glove of defender Brandon Davidson.
Edmonton tied it again on a power play with 4:29 left in the third. Leon Draisaitl sent the puck in front and Lucic tipped it past Rinne to end a 12-game scoring drought.
The Oilers had a ton of chances in overtime, but Nashville’s Ryan Johansen came closest to ending it, hitting a post behind Talbot with 27 seconds left.
”It’s great that we get a point out of it and got nine of 12 points on this six-game homestand, which is pretty good, but it would have been nice to get the win,” Lucic said.
Both goalies were sharp in the scoreless first period, with Talbot making 12 saves and Rinne eight.
The Oilers came close to breaking the deadlock six minutes into the second as a short-handed shot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins trickled past Rinne, who wriggled his way back into position to stop the rebound opportunity.
Nashville finally got the game’s first goal with 2:48 left in the period when Arvidsson put his team’s second rebound attempt up and over Talbot for his 11th goal of the season.
Edmonton tied it 41 seconds later as Hendricks’ wrist shot got through Rinne’s legs and dribbled into the net.
NOTES: It was the first of three meetings between the teams this season and the lone game in Edmonton. … Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban returned to the lineup after missing 16 games with an upper-body injury. … Rinne entered 6-0 in his last six appearances against the Oilers, with a 0.99 goals-against average and .965 save percentage. … The game featured 88 faceoffs, ”an astronomical amount,” according to Oilers coach Todd McLellan.
Predators: Wrap up a five-game road trip in Minnesota on Sunday.
Oilers: Right back at it Saturday in Calgary.