Predators 2, Oilers 1
The Skinny: The Oilers came in with a 3-0 record in afternoon games this season, but they didn’t show up on time for this noon matinee against the Predators, falling behind 2-0 as goals by J.P. Dumont and Martin Erat, along with 32 saves by Pekka Rinne, were the difference.
The Quote: “We really played well,” said Rinne, who has seen action in 16 of Nashville’s last 18 games. “I saw the puck really well and I felt good all the way through.”
The Big Play: Erat got the winner 8:35 into the third period when he took a cross-ice pass from David Legwand, cut to the net and slipped a backhand through the pads of Dwayne Roloson.
Hemsky Hot: Ales Hemsky’s goal to cut Nashville’s lead to 2-1 in the third period gives him eight points, including six goals, in five games since returning from a concussion.
Milsestone for Staios: Steve Staios played his 500th game as a member of the Oilers. Staios, signed as a free agent in July of 2001, is the 19th player to play 500 or more regular season games with Edmonton.
Tootoo Derailed: Jordin Tootoo, who put Hemsky on the shelf for 10 games in Edmonton’s 5-2 win Dec. 28 with a hit along the boards, didn’t dress. Tootoo was injured in a fight with Todd Bertuzzi in Calgary on Friday.
Different Directions: When these teams met in late December, Nashville was sitting in seventh place and the Oilers were 13th. The Predators have been in a free fall with a 5-10 record since then.
The Next Game: The Oilers host Chicago tomorrow at 7 p.m.