Leon Draisaitl nets hat trick as Edmonton Oilers win 4-0 in Nashville

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Leon Draisaitl continued his mastery of the Nashville Predators, netting a hat trick in the Edmonton Oilers’ 4-0 victory Thursday night.

Draisaitl has 17 goals in his last eight games against the Preds.

“Obviously not our best in Minnesota, but good teams they make sure they respond and we are a good team and I thought we responded really well tonight,” Draisaitl said. “Full sixty minutes, every facet of the game was checked off really.”

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Goaltender Mike Smith made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season.

“The most fun time of year to be playing important hockey games is right now and obviously you want to be playing your best hockey at the end of the season and going into the playoffs, so I feel like it’s right there for us,” Smith said.

The Oilers took the lead on the power play just before the nine-minute mark of the first. Edmonton defenceman Tyson Barrie held in the Predators’ clearing attempt and put the puck to Connor McDavid on the left wing. He passed to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the high slot, who tapped the puck over to Draisaitl. His one-timer was his 52nd goal of the season.

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Draisaitl struck again in the second period, taking a pass in front from Zach Hyman and snapping the puck past Predators netminder Jusse Saros’ blocker.

Less than three minutes later, Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse took a pass from Evander Kane and sniped a shorthanded goal to make it 3-0.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers winning streak ends with shootout loss to Colorado

The Predators celebrated a goal by Colton Sissons early in the third, but it came off the board when the Oilers successfully challenged for offside.

Draisaitl completed the hat trick with a quick wrister on the power play.

McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins both had two assists.

“What I really liked was our process,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game. “After the game the other night we saw things clearly. We did our work, had good meetings, had a good practice and then I believe that gave us the tools needed to have a good game tonight.”

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The Oilers (43-26-6) will host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 12:30 p.m. The actual game starts at 2 p.m.

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