Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oilers rout Preds despite being heavily outshot



The Edmonton Oilers always seem to play well against the Nashville Predators. Thursday night was no different. The talented young Oilers team defeated the Predators by a 6-3 score in front of the record-breaking 21st sellout of the season at Bridgestone Arena.

Edmonton only had 20 shots on goal in the game, but were able to hang up six goals on the scoreboard. Ales Hemsky recorded a hat trick on the night, in what was easily his best game of the season.

Nashville had 44 shots on goal in the game, but were unable to keep pace with the Oilers on the scoreboard. Devan Dubnyk was sensational for the Oilers. He made key saves throughout the game to maintain the lead for the Oilers.

One of the biggest bright spots for the Predators on the night was the play of the second line. Gabriel Bourque, David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist were sensational. Legwand picked up two goals on the evening to lead the offensive charge for the Predators. For a line that's only been together for the last couple of days, they seemed to have a lot of chemistry.

"It was pretty fun. I like it. They talk a lot and help me on the ice, so it was pretty awesome," Bourque said.

In the second period, with the Predators trailing 4-1, Hornqvist apparently brought the Predators within two with a goal from right in front of Dubnyk. However, the goal was waved off by the officials. Hornqvist, along with the entire crowd at Bridgestone Arena, were absolutely livid.

"He hit the goalie on the screen, so I don't know if it was a goal or not. The ref said no, so it's probably not a goal," Bourque said.

Even though the score didn't indicate it, the Predators played a pretty solid game. They controlled the play for the majority of the game, but weren't defensively sound. Edmonton was opportunistic, and the Predators were not. That ended up being the difference in the game.

"I think we played well. We shot a lot but we need more traffic in front of the net, especially in front of a big goalie like that. We have to learn from it and just keep going. We have a big week," Bourque said.

With the six-goal outburst, the Oilers scored a combined 12 goals in their two trips to Bridgestone Arena this year. Over the past few seasons, the Oilers have just seemed to have Nashville's number on the road.

"They're a pretty fast team, a young team and they want to win. I think that's why they were so good," Bourque said.

Nashville will try to move on from this game as they travel to take on Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and the rest of the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins in a huge showdown on Thursday night. Alexander Radulov is expected to make his debut for the Predators this season on Thursday night.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Ales Hemsky(EDM)
2. David Legwand(NSH)
3. Devan Dubnyk(EDM)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Ales Hemsky(EDM)
2. David Legwand(NSH)
3. Devan Dubnyk(EDM)

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