Edmonton Oilers beat Nashville Predators to start 8-1 for 2nd time in team history

Leon Draisaitl continued his dominance of the Nashville Predators, leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 win over the Preds Wednesday night at Rogers Place.

“We obviously haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Draisaitl said. “But you don’t go 8-1 if you play terrible and just get lucky.”

Draisaitl had two goals and an assist, giving him 13 points in his last four games against Nashville.

“He’s just a tremendous all-around player,” Evan Bouchard said of Draisaitl. “You want him to win a face-off, he’s there. You want him to put up points, he’s there, and he’s playing in the last few minutes (of the game). It’s just fun to watch.”

The Oilers’ power play kept its hot streak going with a first-period goal by Draisaitl. The lead didn’t last long with Matt Duchene beating Mikko Koskinen 11 seconds later.

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“We’re doing a lot of things well,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. “We’re doing some things fine, but there are some things I think we can clean up in our game.”

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Kailer Yamamoto scored for the second straight game early in the second, banging a loose puck past Connor Ingram.

Draisaitl struck again in the third, with Devin Shore following up 1:18 later.

​”It’s fun to score, and it’s fun to score at home with the crowd. It’s been a while for me, personally, since I did that, so it’s exciting stuff,” Shore said.

Ryan Johansen fired home a power-play goal to pull the Preds within two with 4:01 left.

“This year, I think the way he’s rounded out his game is the best I’ve seen from him,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said of Draisaitl. “Obviously, he’s getting older, he’s getting more confident and knows what he can do. He’s a big strong kid with ability through the roof.”

Less than a minute later, Jesse Puljujarvi sealed it with an empty netter.

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Connor McDavid had two assists. Koskinen made 30 saves to improve to 6-1.

The Oilers are 8-1 for just the second time in franchise history, matching their start from 1985-86. They’ll host the New York Rangers on Friday. Kevin Lowe will have his No. 4 retired before the game.

– ​With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott

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