Oilers had to consider themselves lucky after a few deadline moves today by Nashville shipping out Fiala, and Hartman. Simmonds and Granlund the players coming in weren’t able to make it in time for the game so the Preds had to use a shorthanded line up.
Speaking of shorthanded, early in the first during a Darnell Nurse penalty, Draisaitl stripped the puck from the Preds in the neutral zone, he went in alone on Rinne and tucked it home backhand 5-hole to put the Oilers up 1-0. There were very few whistles and the first period went by quickly. Nashville had a strong late push but Koskinen stood tall as the Oilers carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Oilers didn’t play bad in the second period. They had an early power play where they had a few good looks, including Gagner hitting the side of the net. The Oilers second power play of the period lasted only about 10 seconds before Arvidsson drew a tripping call to wash out the Oilers PP. Despite playing well, a small and devastating collapse, led to Nashville potting 2 goals and hitting a crossbar in the span of about 1:30 a little more than halfway through the period. The Score after two periods was 2-1 for Nashville.
The Oilers took had a very strong third period pouring on the pressure throughout the first half of the period. At 9:12 of the third Leon Draisaitl scored his second goal of the game to tie it 2-2. Nuge had the assist to tie his career high in points at 56. Those who say Draisaitl is only as good as he is because of McDavid is a lie, Draisaitl is a very talented hockey player. He can drive his own line full stop. Obviously he’ll be better with McDavid, every player is but he can do it on his own. The Preds had a bunch of pressure in the last 3 minutes of the period including a PP opportunity. The Oilers managed to kill it off and bring the game to overtime.
In the overtime period Rieder took a penalty with 4 minutes left, to put the Oilers shorthanded for the 5th time in the game. Predators had a lot of pressure but the Oilers killed it off to go 5 for 5 on the night on the PK. After the penalty expired the teams went back and forth but no real dangerous chances. Off to the shootout.
In the Shootout , Nashville hit 2 posts before Forsberg scored on their 3rd shot. The Oilers missed the net completely on their first 2 attempts but Gagner went 5-hole on the third shot to tie the shootout. Brian Boyle the 4th shooter scored for the Preds which stood as the game winner as Rattie was denied by Rinne.
Oilers 3 Stars
1st Star – Leon Draisaitl – 2 goals and was easily the Oilers best skater tonight.
2nd Star – Mikko Koskinen – Was a brick wall for the Oilers, made the big saves when he had too.
3rd Star – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Tied his career high in points on his assist on the Draisaitl goal.