Leon Draisaitl scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers knocked off the Nashville Predators 4-2 Tuesday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
“It was one of those games where we did what we had to do to find a win,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins snapped home a wrist-shot right off a faceoff win by Draisaitl to give the Oilers the lead.
“It’s tough to claw your way back every game,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’re not doing that to ourselves.
“We’re not shooting ourselves in the foot right now.”
The Predators’ Filip Forsberg tied it with a lacrosse-style goal. He scooped the puck onto the blade of his stick while circling behind the net, then tossed the puck in off goaltender Mike Smith’s left side.
“I saw him pick it up behind the net,” Smith said. “But you’re changing from one corner to the other, and you’re just trying to get over there and take net away. He got lucky.”
“It was great. I mean at the time it was a big goal,” Forsberg said. “They were obviously up and it tied the game, It’s something that I’ve tried a couple of times. It’s cool that it went in, but at the same time it would have been a lot sweeter if we had won.”
“Pretty high skill play,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “You don’t see those come around too often. Fil’s a skilled player so it was pretty impressive.”
Nashville’s Colin Blackwell finished a give-and-go with Nick Bonino exactly five minutes later.
Draisaitl chipped in a rebound from the side of the net to tie it on the power play with 17.6 seconds left in the first.
“We have to learn that no matter the score, we just play our game. I thought we did that well tonight,” Draisaitl said.
The Oilers’ Josh Archibald scored the only goal of the second period, converting a cross-ice pass from Connor McDavid for his fifth goal of the season.
“I thought as the game went on, we started to simplify things a little bit. It was a good game all around for us,” Nugent-Hopkins said.
The two goalies exchanged great saves late in the third. Smith stopped a Ryan Johansen shot from the slot with 2:58 to go. Thirty seconds later, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne denied McDavid who had walked in front from the left wing.
“Just like any other team in the league, they’ve got a lot of skill,” Draisaitl said.
“They’re going to have their shifts as well. I thought we defended well, didn’t really give them too much. It’s a solid win for us.”
The Predators took a too many men penalty when they got crossed up pulling Rinne in the final two minutes. Draisaitl sealed the game with an empty-netter.
Smith made 30 saves to win his fourth-straight start. McDavid had three assists.
The Oilers (25-18-5) will host Arizona Saturday afternoon.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston