Edmonton has had little trouble handling the Nashville Predators of late.
Looking to avoid a third straight defeat Monday night, the visiting Oilers hope that trend continues as they try for a ninth consecutive victory – and second in seven days – over the struggling Predators, who are mired in a season-high six-game skid.
Edmonton won six of eight from Nov. 26-Dec. 9, but is 1-2-1 since. After blowing a two-goal, third-period lead during Thursday’s 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis, the Oilers owned a 49-17 shots-on-goal advantage versus lowly Anaheim, but fell 4-3 at home.
They last dropped three straight from Nov. 3-7.
“I think you look at every area of the game,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “Individually, we can be better in some situations that are within our control, certainly.
“And, that’s not one player, and not one position. As a team, there are moments within games where we can handle those moments better.”
The Oilers haven’t had many individual or collective breakdowns while owning a 40-18 goal advantage during its eight-game winning streak over the Predators.
Edmonton’s lone victory in its last four overall contests came via a third consecutive win at Nashville, 6-3 on Tuesday.
Edmonton’s top line of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman combined for all six goals and totaled seven assists in that contest. Draisaitl posted his second five-point game against the Predators this season, and has a remarkable 20 goals and 10 assists in his last 10 contests versus Nashville.
McDavid has 12 goals with 15 assists during an overall 12-game point streak, and six with 18 assists in his last nine against the Predators. Hyman, who posted his first career hat trick at Nashville last week, has totaled nine points in his last six games against the Predators.
Nashville recorded one-third of its nine goals, during an 0-4-2 stretch, against the Oilers last week. Following Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Colorado, Nashville has been outscored 20-9 during that six-game winless rut.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got every single guy going, and then we’ve got to make sure we find a way to win – and be harder on each other,” said Nashville forward Nino Niederreiter, who assisted on Matt Duchene’s third-period goal against the Avalanche.
Teammate Ryan Johansen has scored two of his eight goals this season in the two matchups with Edmonton. Niederreiter scored during the Predators’ 7-4 loss at Edmonton on Nov. 1.
Teammate Juuse Saros made 30 saves in that contest. He’s posted a 2.58 goals-against average even while mired in an 0-3-2 starting rut. Backup Kevin Lankinen (2.64 GAA) stopped 31 of 36 shots in his most recent start Tuesday versus Edmonton.
The Oilers’ Jack Campbell (4.04 goals-against average) made 29 saves at Nashville last week, but has yielded at least three goals in each of his last five starts – all on the road.
Meanwhile, teammate Stuart Skinner (2.83 GAA) allowed all four goals while facing just 17 shots faced against the Ducks to suffer a third consecutive losing start.
–Field Level Media