Oilers 6 Predators 1
NASHVILLE — Zack Stortini made his impact with his gloves on as well as off.
Stortini scored two of Edmonton’s four first-period goals and added a fighting major as well to lead the Oilers to a 6-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
It was Edmonton’s first win in Nashville since Oct. 29, 2005 as the Oilers had lost seven straight games there.
After starting the season with two consecutive wins, the Predators have dropped back-to-back games.
Seeing his first action of the season, Edmonton goaltender Jeff Deslauriers turned aside 40 Nashville shots to record the victory for the Oilers.
“He was our star tonight, no question,” Oilers coach Pat Quinn said of his goalie. “Early in the game we had some rough shifts, and he was really sharp and got us a chance to get by the early going.”
Stortini first struck at 13:58 of the first period on a power-play goal. With the Oilers already leading 2-0 after goals by Shawn Horcoff and Gilbert Brule, Mike Comrie found Stortini all alone in front of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. Stortini stuffed the puck past Rinne for his first goal of the season.
“I was going to the net with my stick on the ice trying to keep things simple,” Stortini said. “He made a great pass out to me.”
Stortini struck again with 28.2 seconds remaining in the opening period when he carried the puck in from the left side and made a smooth forehand to backhand transition before sneaking a shot inside of Rinne’s near post.
Entering Monday, Stortini had never recorded a multi-goal game in his previous 151 NHL games. Stortini had an active first period, as he engaged in a prolonged fight with Nashville’s Triston Grant just 1:38 into the contest.
“It’s always good to get off to a physical start like that,” Stortini said. “It was our first road game, and it was to get the energy going for the guys.”
Nashville entered Monday as one of three teams who had not allowed a first-period goal all season.
“We lost the game in the first period,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We’ll learn from this, nobody likes to be embarrassed in their own rink.”
After stopping 41 of 42 shots against in a losing effort against Buffalo Saturday, Rinne allowed the four first period goals on just nine Edmonton shots. Dan Ellis replaced Rinne at the start of the second period.
“We didn’t play well, that’s the bottom line,” Rinne said. “I think it is that way for everybody, no one is really happy.”
Andrew Cogliano and Denis Grebeshkov also scored for Edmonton, and Dustin Penner had two assists. Former Oiler Jason Arnott scored Nashville’s lone goal in the final minute of the second period. The goal ended a 104:23 goalless stretch for the Predators. Arnott has three of Nashville’s six goals on the season.
Notes: Edmonton D Taylor Chorney recorded his first-career NHL point when he assisted on Stortini’s first goal of the game Edmonton C Mike Comrie has recorded a point in each of the Oilers five games this season Nashville rookie C Colin Wilson made his NHL debut Monday. He had been sidelined since training camp with a groin injury.