<

Geoffrion bags first career goal, Preds still lose…

VAN standing ovation recap shot

The last time the Nashville Predators visited Edmonton, Alberta, the league’s worst team forced them into a shootout before deciding the winner.

Deja vu, eh?

The Oilers used “the skills competition” to defeat the Preds 2-1 on Tuesday night at Rexall Place. Nashville’s only goal of the contest was a special one as Brentwood, Tennessee’s own Blake Geoffrion got his first career tally. But, unfortunately for the Preds, it was not special enough as they got beat by the worst team in the Western Conference for the second time in 22 days.

Pekka Rinne was outstanding when called upon, making 24 saves. It would be Linus Omark’s sick move in the shootout that would prove the difference maker.

In a game they very much needed to win, the Predators got the scoring started. After Ryan Suter carried into the Edmonton zone while his team made a line change, Matt Halischuk wristed a shot wide. It would turn out to be a perfect “pass” though as Suter collected it off the end boards and delivered a beautiful blind backhand pass to a waiting Geoffrion who notched his first career NHL goal.

Just 41 seconds later, however, the Oilers would answer. Defenseman Jim Vandermeer found the puck on his stick at the point, wound-up and blasted a rocket into the top right corner of the net to tie it.

After scoreless hockey the rest of the way, it would take a shootout to decide this one.

Edmonton got shootout tallies from Jordan Eberle and Omark to take the victory and send the Predators out of Rexall as losers.

Nashville will try and rebound when they travel to Vancouver on Thursday night. Puck drops at 9:00pm Central.

LEFTOVER THOUGHTS:
* Attempting to take a pass from Joel Ward in the corner of the attacking zone, Nick Spaling took the puck in the face and left the ice bleeding everywhere. There was a serious gash over his lip. He would return.
* The Edmonton Oilers penalty kill is dead last in the league.
* The Predators had 18 shots on goal in the first period. They had just 16 in the next two.
* The Predators had one shot on goal on their last power play of the second period. Edmonton had a man advantage of their own just seconds later and Nashville managed three shots shorthanded. Go figure.
* With 1:11 remaining in the middle frame, the referees sent the teams to their dressing rooms for intermission. There was a huge crack in one of the panes of glass and they determined it would take too long to make the players wait for just 1:11. So, in a rare sight, the final period began with a sliver of the previous one before the horn sounded, the teams swtiched sides and played the third in it’s entirety.
* Jerred Smithson won his first 11 face-offs. He finished 13-1 inside the dot.
* The Predators have yet to win a game in the overtime period this season.
* As Jim Diamond of the Examiner pointed out on Twitter, Nashville has gotten two of it’s last three goals out of guys from the hockey hot beds of California and Tennessee.
* Goaltender Martin Gerber was starting just his third game this year for the Oilers. He’s won all three.
* Predators center Mike Fisher was voted the third star of the game, despite Geoffrion scoring the club’s only goal and despite Ryan Suter having an assist as well as his best game of the season. Fisher’s stat line, by the way, read no points, five shots and an even-rating. Ridiculous.

THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1) Martin Gerber (EDM)
2) Jim Vandermeer (EDM)
3) Mike Fisher (NSH)

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // section303.com