Oilers look to snap skid against sliding Predators

The Sports Network
3/8/2013 11:13:54 AM
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(Sports Network) - A pair struggling teams look to get back on track tonight when the Edmonton Oilers travel to Nashville to face the Predators.

The Oilers have lost four straight and are 1-3-2 on their nine-game road trip, while the Predators have lost three in a row.

Edmonton is coming off Thursday's shutout loss to the Detroit Red Wings, as Jimmy Howard made 22 saves to lead the home team to a 3-0 decision at Joe Louis Arena.

Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 shots for Edmonton, which has now lost seven straight in Detroit and is just 4-6-3 as the road team this season.

"We would have liked to have seen maybe a power play or two in the game but when you look at the whole picture here, there's no excuses for this one," Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. "We can't stop playing for 10 minutes against the Detroit Red Wings and expect to get points."

Edmonton forward Ales Hemsky left Thursday's game after blocking a shot with his right foot in the second period and did not return. Hemsky, who has eight goals and 13 points this season, is considered day-to-day and is questionable for tonight's contest.

Meanwhile, Nashville has scored a total of three goals during its current slide. The club also has eight goals during a 1-5-0 skid over its last six games and most of those tallies came in a 5-4 overtime win against Dallas on Feb. 25.

Overall, Nashville is last in the NHL this season with an average of 1.96 goals per game.

The Predators haven't played since Monday, when they were handed a 5-1 setback in Los Angeles. Nashville fired just 19 shots on net in the setback and ended its three-game road trip without gaining a point in the standings.

Gabriel Bourque scored late in the game for the Predators, while Pekka Rinne gave up all five goals on just 13 shots before being pulled late in the contest.

"We have to play for 60 minutes," said Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. "We have to battle through this because we're just not scoring out there."

Nashville hopes to find its scoring touch at the start of a two-game homestand. The Preds, who will also host Minnesota on Saturday, are 5-2-3 as the host this season.

Edmonton won three of its four meetings against the Predators in 2011-12 and has taken five of seven overall in this series. The Oilers won both of their games in Music City last season.

Nail Yakupov (Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
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