Predators 2 Oilers 1
NASHVILLE — Viktor Arvidsson and the Nashville Predators cruised into their bye week with another win against the Edmonton Oilers.
Connor McDavid and company are searching for answers.
Arvidsson had a goal and an assist, helping the Predators top the Oilers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Craig Smith also scored and Pekka Rinne made 25 saves in Nashville’s 11th consecutive win against Edmonton.
The Predators were coming off a 4-3 win at the Kings on Saturday night and don’t play again until next Tuesday against Vegas.
“It puts everybody in the right frame of mind,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s a chance to get away — rest your mind, rest your body and do it on a winning note, which is positive, and come back and be ready to get going again.”
The free-falling Oilers have lost seven of eight. McDavid scored, and Cam Talbot had 22 stops.
“I thought tonight we worked hard enough for a break,” coach Todd McLellan said.
“I’m not sure that we were in that situation in prior games. If we play like that, we’ll have our opportunities to win games. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Edmonton appeared to tie the game with 5:04 left when Mark Letestu found a loose puck in front of Rinne and swatted it in through traffic. Nashville challenged the goal and a video review determined that the play was offside.
“Ultimately, I feel that they should just take the rule out,” McDavid said.
“I think the number of calls that are a millimeter offside 45 seconds before the play, it doesn’t have very much of an effect on the goal itself. I think the fans want to see offence and if that’s going to hold back offence, it’s very frustrating.
“It’s very hard to sit here and question the rule right now because it’s obviously a little sensitive with it going against us, but I think it is something that I hope they take out.”
Nashville’s players were quick to credit the team’s video staff, led by video coach Lawrence Feloney.
“Lawrence, that guy he must have a surgeon’s eyes,” Rinne said. “He sees when the skate blade is up. He doesn’t get enough credit. He’s the hardest-working guy in this organization.”
The Predators went ahead to stay with two in the first.
With Nashville on a power play, Talbot stopped P.K. Subban’s slap shot from the left point, but the rebound deflected off Arvidsson’s skate before Smith poked the loose puck in for his 15th goal at 8:26.
“I thought we came out and got a good start, that’s what we were looking for,” Smith said.
Arvidsson got his 13th at 15:31. Roman Josi’s slap shot from above the left circle hit Talbot in the left shoulder and then the face of Edmonton defenceman Adam Larsson on the right side. As the puck fell to the ice, Arvidsson tapped it by Talbot with a backhand.
Rinne denied McDavid on a breakaway with 2:14 remaining in the first. The reigning Hart Trophy winner tried to beat Rinne with a backhand, but the Finn was able to grab the shot with his glove.
McDavid then got a measure of revenge 55 seconds into the second.
With the puck on the right wall, McDavid drove around Predators defenceman Mattias Ekholm before cutting toward the low slot, where he slipped a wrist shot between Rinne’s pads.
NOTES: The Predators are 20-2-2 when leading after two periods this season. … Subban has 17 points in 15 career games against Edmonton. … The Oilers last defeated Nashville on March 18, 2014. … Edmonton is 4-10-1 against the Central Division this season.
Oilers: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Predators: Host the Golden Knights on Tuesday.