NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Jason Arnott scored a power-play goal at 2:31 of overtime, and the Nashville Predators beat Edmonton 6-5 Tuesday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
Edmonton lost for the second time in three games even as the Oilers picked up a point and are tied with Nashville in the Western Conference standings. Erik Cole scored with 6:08 remaining in regulation to tie it at 5 after Andrew Cogliano and Jean-Jacques Francois scored within the first 5:15 of the period to put the Oilers up 4-3.
Steve Sullivan scored twice 70 seconds apart in the third period to put Nashville up 5-4, and he also had an assist. David Legwand scored two goals in the first period, and Ryan Suter added a power-play goal. Arnott also had two assists.
Sam Gagner had a goal and two assists. Marc-Antoine Pouliot also had a goal for the Oilers, who played without captain Ethan Moreau (injured right eye).
Nashville outshot Edmonton 43-28 and took all three shots in overtime. The Predators got the man advantage when Jason Strudwick was called for high-sticking J.P. Dumont in the corner, and they frantically kept trying to get the puck past goalie Dwayne Roloson.
Roloson appeared hurt and didn't have his stick when the puck bounced out to Arnott in the right circle, and he won the game with a slap shot.
Nashville won the season series 3-1 and has won 11 of 12 games between the teams.
Nashville has been hot lately, scoring 17 goals in its past three games. Legwand kept up the scoring with both of his goals in the first period.
Edmonton went up 2-1 as Gagner's backhander from in front beat Pekka Rinne midway in the first period, then Gagner found Pouliot in the right circle from behind the net. But Legwand tied it late in the session with a wrister from the edge of the crease.
Suter put Nashville up 3-2 just 15 seconds into the game's first power play in the second period. His slap shot squeezed between Roloson's stick and the right post for the defenseman's fifth goal.
Rinne, the NHL's rookie of the month for February, struggled in the third period as he gave up three goals, the last coming as Cole skated around the net and then bounced a backhander over Rinne's pad.
Notes: Predators forward Martin Erat missed a second straight game with a strained groin. ... Rinne now is 12-0-1 when he gets three or more goals from the Predators. ... Nashville has gone to overtime in five of its last 10 games.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On the overall play of the game…
I didn’t think that we were that good in our end today – the way that we needed to be if we are going to be successful. It was just a little bit of a strange game. Usually with these teams it’s not as wide open as it was, but today it just seemed to be that way. When I look at the goals, the first goal for Edmonton went off of de Vries’ foot and they scored, so there were just a few strange things. A lot of things happened tonight and there were a couple of times where Edmonton could have taken over the momentum and we came right back.
On Nashville’s goals…
We got some huge goals tonight. Legwand’s second goal at the end of the first period was huge, and Sullivan’s two quick goals, right after they had taken the lead, tied it up and then we took the lead. Fortunately, we were able to hang on.
On going into overtime…
We couldn’t get the two points in regulation, but if you think about the last 10 games, we’ve gone into overtime four times and we got the victory, so that’s really huge and those are big points for us right now.
On the play of Steve Sullivan…
I thought their line was a little slow out of the gate today, but as the game went on I thought that Arnott, Sullivan and Dumont really got that line going. Sullivan is skating really well right now.
On the high number of goals being scored…
When you are skating, that is part of the deal. You have to go to the net hard and create things and some of the things that we’ve been doing for the last two months are starting to pay some dividends.
On taking advantage of the power play in overtime…
It was huge in overtime. With our power play, we were 2-for-4 tonight, which if you are going to win hockey games this time of year, you have to have contribution from the power play. In overtime, we’ve been frustrated a couple of times, with the 4-on-3 in overtime, but tonight we got a huge goal. We put a few pucks at Roloson and if you keep shooting they are going to start going in.
On where the team lies in the standings…
When we came back from the All-Star break, we got off to a pretty good start. When you get 8 or 9 games into it, and you go 6-2, it looks like you haven’t really gained any ground on anybody. It’s come back for us and the guys have stayed with it and been persistent, which we talk about just about every night, so good things can happen. You have to go up the ladder one step at a time.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On the importance of the win…
It’s a huge win. The guys did an unbelievable job in the third period. I almost gave it away with a soft goal at the end. But the guys really responded and sometimes it goes like that – sometimes I’m helping them and sometimes they come through big for me.
Forward Jerred Smithson
On him being on a successful line with Ward and Legwand
They were going before I got on the line. Them and Erat were doing a great job and with Erat going down it gave me an opportunity to step in and try to contribute. To tell you the truth I’m just trying to keep up with them. They’re wheeling and dealing and playing great hockey. I’m going to play my style and try to contribute when I can.
On the feel of the game of two teams battling for a playoff spot…
It seemed from the puck drop that we were battling and they were going – it got physical. That’s what it’s going to be like until game 82 or beyond.
On the swings of momentum…
We kept our composure on the bench pretty well. There were times when we were down and could’ve started sulking or hanging our heads but we kept battling and found a way to grab two points in overtime.
Forward Jason Arnott
On the setup of two teams battling for a playoff spot…
It was a hard-fought game. We knew they were going to come out on all cylinders. They never quit and we never quit – both goaltenders are probably going to make the highlight reels tomorrow, no question. We’re just glad we came out on top of it with the two points.
On what the swings of momentum taught him about the team…
Not to give up. We’re fighting for a playoff spot and even if we’re down one or two goals we have to fight until the end. Anything can happen in this game nowadays – a few power plays here or there at the end of the game can help. That’s what we’ve realized here as of late. Obviously we don’t want to do this every night but it was a huge win after beating Detroit 8-0. I think after that everyone thought we were going to come out a little slow and nonchalant but the guys really put their effort into it tonight.
On his goal…
I knew Roloson was scrambling. And the shot before that I knew I hurt him a little bit because he went down. He was just scrambling all over the place and I just tried to get it on net. I knew Souray was coming out to block it so I had to get it by him – that’s a big body. I missed a few open-netters tonight so it was nice to get that one.
Forward David Legwand
On the position the team is in…
We can’t sit back now. Thursday we play Columbus and they’re still in front of us so Thursday is a must-win again. This is an exciting time to play hockey – end of the season being in the mix. The teams that are out of it probably aren’t having as much fun as we are.
On the team’s recent scoring surge…
It’s weird. Obviously everyone knows the season is a roller coaster ride but it’s coming at the right time now, but there are 18 games left – maybe if we could save a couple of these and not let as many in. We’ll see if we can keep going on Thursday.