National Hockey League
Predators-Oilers Preview
National Hockey League

Predators-Oilers Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:46 p.m. ET

The Nashville Predators' franchise-record point streak ended when a cold offensive stretch resulted in their first regulation loss in over a month.

They might not have to worry about a losing streak given their goaltender's hot stretch against their next opponent - and their own, for that matter.

Pekka Rinne hopes to get the Predators back on track when they close a road trip Monday night against the Edmonton Oilers, a team he has dominated over the last three seasons while helping Nashville to five consecutive wins in this series.

The Predators (34-22-13) saw their 14-game point streak and 13-game run on the road come to a close with Saturday's 4-2 loss at Vancouver, their first regulation defeat since Feb. 9. They dropped to 2-1-1 on their five-game road trip, which started promisingly before Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Calgary.


Nashville scored four times on 63 shots between the two defeats after totaling 23 goals in the previous five games.

Rinne has experienced his own struggles with a .904 save percentage in five starts this month, but his recent string of success against the Oilers (27-37-7) should restore some confidence.

The All-Star netminder has already earned two wins this season over the Western Conference's worst team, making 31 saves in a 2-0 home win on Oct. 10 and 23 in a 4-1 victory in Edmonton on Jan. 23. He improved his save percentage to .972 during Nashville's run of five wins in this series.

Rinne's October shutout was his second straight against the Oilers following a 37-save effort in a 1-0 overtime win on Nov. 27, 2014.

The Predators could use another solid performance in net to continue building the gap between themselves and the two teams battling for the final postseason spot in the West. Seventh-place Nashville leads Minnesota and Colorado by seven points.

"It's a tight playoff race and we need all the points we can get," Roman Josi told the team's official website. "... we have to keep it going and get points along the way here."

Edmonton's Cam Talbot has been in net for both losses against Nashville this season, allowing five goals on 50 shots.

Talbot stopped 25 of 29 shots in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Arizona in the opener of five-game homestand, dropping the Oilers to 1-6-1 in their last eight there.

Coach Todd McLellan fumed following his team's second shutout loss in three games - both at home - noting the Oilers finished with 44 shots but few outnumbered rushes, while giving up several on the other end.

''The smarter team won the game, hands down,'' McLellan said. ''It's a formula for failure. It's been going on and has proven here over the years to be a formula for failure. We just proved it again tonight. It's kind of insanity isn't it? When you keep hitting your head against a wall and getting the same result.''

Edmonton is the league's lowest-scoring team since Feb. 18 with an average of 1.77 goals in 13 games, and is operating at 5.7 percent (1 for 29) on the power play in that span.


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