Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 11/29/11
The last time the Predators came to Rexall Place, on Oct. 17, the team left the building in shambles. Jerred Smithson called out his teammates for not working hard enough. Pekka Rinne called Nashville's loss in that game "rock bottom." What a difference a month makes. Monday, this building provided the perfect cure for the slumping Predators, who beat the Oilers 2-1. It was Nashville's first win in four games and the first time Nashville picked up a point in three contests. The game was also probably Nashville's finest defensive performance of the season. Nashville allowed 18 shots, a season low, and fired 31 total shots on the Oilers. Coming into the game, the Oilers had outscored the Predators 9-3 in two contests this season. Edmonton won both of those games. The Predators still need to win their next two games or at least get three points in their next two contests for this five-game road trip to be considered successful. But the Predators took a step in the right direction to break out of this funk that has plagued them for a little over a week. Nashville will play the Calgary Flames as part of a back-to-back Tuesday, with a rested Rinne in goal. NOTES, QUOTES C Blake Geoffrion made his first appearance in four games. He had been a healthy scratch in those four contests, and through 5:30 of ice time he showed the type of gritty game Nashville coach Barry Trotz wanted out of the rookie. But then it went horribly wrong. Edmonton LW Ryan Jones slammed Geoffrion high, and Geoffrion had to leave the game. Trotz said Geoffrion suffered an "upper body" injury. "I think it was more of a retaliation after he got hit by (RW Jordin) Tootoo in the corner," Trotz said of the Jones hit. Playing just your fourth game of the season isn't easy -- especially when it's just your second start. But G Anders Lindback appeared ready for Edmonton and stopped 17 of 18 shots. It was Lindback's first start since Nov. 8 at Los Angeles and his first win of the season. "It's always hard to step in when you don't play much," Lindback said. "It's about staying ready in practice and working as hard as you can and waiting for your chance. Today I got great help from the whole team." D Jack Hillen hasn't done anything flashy all season. He has played a steady two-way game, and for this he is starting to get rewarded. Hillen notched his highest ice-time total of the season, 21:12. The defenseman stepped up as D Francis Bouillon nursed a groin injury. "The start of the year, the coaches told me I would have to earn my minutes and keep playing solid and stay positive," Hillen said. "It hurts losing (Bouillon). We'd like to have him back. But you have to step up when you get an opportunity, and I think I had a solid game tonight." QUOTE TO NOTE "I thought we played with a lot more of the things you need to do to win. I thought we played with a lot more intensity, I thought we played with a lot more structure." -- Nashville coach Barry Trotz after the victory at Edmonton.
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