Predators fans had few hockey related things to be thankful for from the Bridgestone arena Thursday night as Nashville dropped a 3-0 decision to the Oilers. It was actually a fairly two sided affair of hockey for 59 minutes. But the two back to back second period goals by the Oilers were enough to overcome Nashville and grab a win for the Canadian side. The goals were less than a minute apart – the first by Nugent-Hopkins and the second by Hall. Not much Mazanec could do on either. Oilers have now won 4 of their last five while Nashville has a 5-5-0 record in their last ten and 13-10-2 on the season.
Notes and Thoughts and Things
– Shea Weber left the game with 5 or so minutes left in the second after taking a puck to the face. He didn't return for the final frame due to an "upper body injury" which one could only assume would be his face. He looked swollen but not cut or bruise. They're may be a broken bone – but my absolutely un-educated guess is that swelling kept him out of the third and he will be back Saturday.
Pic thanks to @donborvio
– I was actually somewhat surprised to see Mazanec in net in the back to back game. But the start certainly speaks to the confidence that the coaching staff have in him. And, I mean, he did only face 17 shots in Columbus.
– The Preds were down most of the game – but this is the best they have played while losing in a very long time. The depressing part about their road trip was not only that they got smoked every game, but they barely looked present. Tonight's loss is a bit easier to swallow as the boys put a solid effort on the ice.
– Nashville has killed off their last 17 penalties, with the last powerplay goal coming on November 15th against Pittsburgh. The effort is enough to get them into the top ten PK percentages in the league. They started the season in the bottom five, allowing 2/4 opportunities three times in their first four games.
– Bryzgalov played really well in his first NHL start this year. It wasn't your traditional shutout against the Preds – we did actually work him putting 33 shots on net. But he was up to the challenge and was probably what kept Edmonton alive in the first period. It will be interesting to see how the Oilers manage their duo for the rest of this season.
– Nashville has now been shutout 6 times on the season. They have shut the opposition twice meaning that 42% of their games this season have involved only one team scoring.
EDM 1-0: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from Jeff Petry and Jordan Eberle at 5:32 in the second
EDM 2-0 Taylor Hall from Sam Gagne at 6:23 in the second
EDM 3-0 Jordan Eberle (Empty Net) from Taylor Hall and Nick Schultz at 19:03 in the third
NSH: Marek Mazanec (L) – 25 saves on 27 shots; played 60:00
EDM: Ilya Bryzgalov (W) – 33 saves on 33 shots; played 60:00
My Three Stars
1. Ilya Bryzgalov – 33 Saves, shutout
2. Taylor Hall – 1G 1A
3. Ryan Nugent Hopkings – 1 GWG
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Forsberg (INJ), Hornqvist (INJ) and Ekholm (Healthy)
Predators starters: Fisher, Wilson, Nystrom, Weber, Josi and Mazanec
Oilers scratches: Gazdic, Acton, Potter
Oilers starters: Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Petry, Ference, Bryzgalov