For the second time in their last three games, the Edmonton Oilers were shut out despite getting over 40 shots on goal.
Thursday night at Rogers Place, Juuse Saros made 46 stops to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-0 win. It’s the most saves an opposing goalie has ever made in a shutout against the Oilers.
“I personally like to see a lot of pucks,” said Saros after blanking the Oilers. “You don’t think so much, you just go with the flow. It was a good thing to get into the game.”
The Oilers dominated the play in the first period, outshooting Nashville 22-4. They also had two power plays but couldn’t beat Saros, who was making just his seventh appearance this season in net for the Predators.
“It’s tough. I thought we did a lot of good things,” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said. “Obviously our special teams weren’t good enough, but when you get 46 shots on goal and a lot of them are really good chances and none of them go in, it’s tough.”
The Predators took control in the second period. They got a break to go up 1-0 in the first three minutes. Pontus Aberg’s stick was over the crossbar as he deflected a high shot past Laurent Brossoit, but the goal stood after video review.
“In my opinion it was a high stick,” explained McLellan. “I think what happened in that situation, and I could be completely wrong, I don’t even think the referee thought it was touched by a high stick and he just pointed goal. Then they have a goal call and it’s hard to overturn a high stick call when it’s close. So they get the goal and it’s a break that goes against us, but we should be able to overcome that.”
Five minutes later, Kevin Fiala banged in a rebound on a power play. Kyle Turris drilled a shot top corner to make it 3-0. Roman Josi scored a late goal on a two-man advantage to make it 4-0.
Saros made another 13 saves in a scoreless third period.
But despite that, defenceman Oscar Klefbom said the Oilers are not going to hang their heads.
“We faced a very effective team with a lot of skill,” Kelfbom said after the game. “It’s tough right now but I think all the guys here have a good feeling. We played some good hockey.
The Oilers had 41 shots Sunday in Toronto but lost 1-0.
“I think this one was a little bit different. This one we started well. We took some needless or careless penalties that cost us,” added McLellan. “You got the best or the second best power play in the league and we take a couple that put us behind the eight ball. They didn’t need a lot of opportunities. The first one ricochets to a guy that’s wide open, the second one a five on three and they make a good play. That was the difference between Toronto and here.”
The Predators have outscored their opponents 51-27 in second periods this season. They’ve won 10 in a row against the Oilers.
The Oilers fall to 13-17-2 on the season, including a woeful 5-10-0 at home. They’ll visit Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.
-With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Ullrich, Scott Johnston and Kyle Morris