Predators Overcome Oilers – Grab 1st Place in Central

NASHVILLE — Brian Boyle scored in the fourth round of a shootout and the Nashville Predators beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Monday night.

P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist, and Colton Sissons also scored as the Predators won for the third time in four games to pass Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division. The Jets have three games in hand.

Ryan Johansen, P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg
Nashville Predators P.K. Subban celebrates with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Pekka Rinne made a pad save on Ty Rattie when the Oilers forward tried to extend the shootout.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice for Edmonton, which won its previous two games.

Kyle Turris and Ryan Ellis each hit the post as the first two shooters for Nashville in the tiebreaker. After Filip Forsberg scored for the Predators, Sam Gagner forced the shootout to sudden death.

Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen had lost his stick with the Predators threatening to score late in regulation when he came way out of the crease, covered the puck and took it back toward the net with him. The delay worked as he helped kill the ensuing penalty, helping the Oilers push the game to overtime.

The Oilers killed another penalty in OT against the NHL’s worst team on the power play.

The Predators were a bit short-handed hours after the NHL trade deadline because of a pair of deals that sent Kevin Fiala to Minnesota for Mikael Granlund, and Ryan Hartman to Philadelphia for Wayne Simmonds. Granlund’s fiancee was in labour Monday, while Simmonds is expected to join Nashville in time for Tuesday night’s game in St. Louis.

That left Nashville coach Peter Laviolette using a fourth line of Cody McLeod, Frederick Gaudreau and defenceman Matt Irwin playing forward, and the Predators called up defenceman Matt Donovan earlier Monday for extra help.

The Oilers played without star centre Connor McDavid, who sat out the second and last game of his NHL suspension for an illegal hit to the head.

Draisaitl took the puck away from Forsberg in the neutral zone and took off on a breakaway before beating Rinne with a backhand for his 37th goal this season and 10th in 10 games in February just 2:08 into the game. Koskinen made that 1-0 lead stand up through the rest of the period with 10 saves, including a flurry late in the period.

Sissons finally got Nashville on the board at 11:43 of the second, scoring past a diving Koskinen off a rebound of a shot by Rocco Grimaldi. Subban, who didn’t take part in the morning skate, gave the Predators their first lead 84 seconds later with a slap shot from the blue line that beat Koskinen’s glove for his sixth of the season.

Koskinen gloved a shot from Forsberg on a 2-on-1 break late in the second.

Draisaitl tied it at 9:12 of the third on the power play, scoring off a rebound.

NOTES: The Predators hit the post at least four times in regulation. … Draisaitl extended his point streak to seven games (10 points). He has six goals during that span. … The Predators placed defenceman Dan Hamhuis on injured reserve. … Country music star Garth Brooks, sitting in a box beside Wayne Gretzky, stood up when his hit “Friends in Low Places” played in the third period.


Oilers: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Predators: At the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.


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Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press