|NSH||1||0||1||0||1 (1 - 2)||3|
|EDM||0||0||2||0||0 (0 - 3)||2|
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Pekka Rinne thought he was in big trouble when he lost his goalie stick during a wild scramble on an Edmonton power play in overtime.
Instead, the wayward stick made the save of the game in the Nashville Predators' 3-2 shootout victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
Shawn Horcoff beat Rinne with a diving backhander, but the puck struck the unattended stick at the goal line and deflected away. A video review confirmed the puck didn't fully cross the line.
"That was a huge lucky break," Rinne said. "I dropped my stick and I had no clue where it was and luckily it was on the goal-line and that saved the game for us."
Predators coach Barry Trotz agreed his team was fortunate.
"You've got to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good," Trotz said. "That's part of the game. It's like the referee being in the way or what have you. We'll take it."
Cody Franson scored the lone shootout goal and Rinne made 22 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped all three Edmonton shooters in the tiebreaker. The Predators, fourth in the Western Conference with 60 points, have won three straight - all on the road - and 10 of their last 12.
|Defenseman Alexander Sulzer had a career-night, scoring his first NHL goal and registering his first multi-point night.
Sulzer opened the game's scoring, snapping home a cross ice feed from Sergei Kostitysn. Then, with the game tied late in regulation, Sulzer rifled a shot from the point which was redirected by Joel Ward to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.
Often overlooked with Nashville's deep defensive corps -- and even deeper pool of elite defensive prospects working through the system -- Sulzer has quietly developed into a steady NHL defenseman. When Shane O'Brien was suspended after the Florida game, Sulzer got an opportunity to work into the lineup and helped the Preds earn a split of their home-and-home set against Chicago. Then when Francis Bouillon went down with an injury at Chicago, Sulzer remained in the lineup and has averaged 19:45 of ice time in the three road games since -- all Preds wins -- while contributing five shots on goals and +4 plus/minus rating.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
"I didn't like the way we played," Trotz said. "I had a feeling we'd be a little bit sloppy with three games in four nights before we got to this one. We got through the first period but as the game went on we turned way too many pucks over. I don't take anything away from the Oilers but we could have been a little bit firmer in a lot of areas in our game."
The Oilers, last in the conference, have dropped five in a row and 14 of 16.
"As much as the opponents are really good and most of them are ahead of us in the standings - except one - we tend to beat ourselves," Oilers coach Tom Renney said.
"It is tough and it tests your patience and your ability to persevere as a coaching staff. But it is even tougher for the players because they are working their guts out."
Joel Ward gave Nashville a 2-1 lead on a power-play with 5:55 left, but Oilers rookie star Taylor Hall tied it with 3:47 remaining in regulation.
Predators defenseman Alexander Sulzer opened the scoring midway through the first period, and Andrew Cogliano tied it early in the third.
Franson assisted on both Nashville goals.
NOTES: Nashville was 1 for 5 on the power play and Edmonton went 0 for 4. ... The Predators will play the fifth game of their six-game trip Monday night in Calgary. ... The Oilers start a two-game trip Tuesday night in Phoenix. ... It was the first of four meetings between the teams this season. ... Predators forward Marek Svatos missed the game because if a lower-body injury. . . Oilers defenseman Jim Vandermeer returned after missing seven games with an ankle injury. To make room for him on the roster, the Oilers sent Taylor Chorney to Springfield of the AHL. ... Oilers forward Ales Hemsky will miss the All-Star game because of a concussion.
|Alexander Sulzer (1) ASST: Sergei Kostitsyn (13), Cody Franson (12)|
1 - 0 NSH
|Andrew Cogliano (7) ASST: Liam Reddox (5), Theo Peckham (6)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Joel Ward (6) ASST: Alexander Sulzer (2), Cody Franson (13)|
2 - 1 NSH
|Taylor Hall (15) ASST: Dustin Penner (16), Jim Vandermeer (5)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1||L. Omark||M. Goc|
|2||S. Gagner||C. Franson|
|Jim Vandermeer Interference against Jerred Smithson|
|Alexander Sulzer Holding against Taylor Hall|
|Zack Stortini Charging against Patric Hornqvist|
|Wade Belak Roughing against Liam Reddox|
|Theo Peckham Holding against Nick Spaling|
|Wade Belak Hooking against Zack Stortini|
|Ladislav Smid Holding against Nick Spaling|
|Theo Peckham Hooking against Patric Hornqvist|
|Ryan Suter Tripping against Andrew Cogliano|