Originally written March 20, 2012 on Inside Smashville:
Season Records Edmonton Oilers 28-36-8 Nashville Predators 42-22-8 On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators host the Edmonton Oilers at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is coming off of their final West Coast road trip where they went 2-1-1. Tuesday will be their lone home game before heading back out on the road. On Thursday night, Nashville will be in Pittsburgh to play Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pekka Rinne should be back in goal for Nashville after Anders Lindback started in Anaheim on Sunday afternoon at the Honda Center, picking up the 3-1 win for the Predators. News out of the hockey world since Sunday night has centered around the imminent return of Alexander Radulov to the Predators lineup, but he will not be in the lineup for Nashville on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. One key to the game will be who can win the battle of the special teams. Both Nashville and Edmonton has similar special team statistics. Nashville has scored 5 power play goals in their last 5 games and have no allowed a power play goal against the Predators in 14 of their last 16 contests. Nashville and Edmonton have two of the most potent power plays in the League, ranking second and third respectively. The Predators power play boasts a 21.6 percent success rate while Edmonton’s power play is successful 21.1 percent of the time. While neither team is in the top 10 for penalty kill percentage, neither team is particularly poor either. Nashville is 12th on the penalty kill with an 83 percent kill off rate, while Edmonton ranks 18th in the League with an 81.7 percent kill off rate. With Nashville’s win over Anaheim on Sunday night, the Predators moved into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. The Washington Capitals made sure Nashville stayed in fourth spot with their 5-3 win over the Red Wings Monday night. With a game in hand over Detroit, Nashville will try to maintain their current home-ice advantage in the post season with a win over Edmonton. One of the most consistent players for the Predators this season has been named last week’s Third Star of the week by the NHL. Martin Erat lead the League with seven points, including 2 goals and 5 assists in four games. Erat has 14 points in his last 13 games, including 5 goals and 9 assists. Erat also picked up his 300th career assist on Sunday night. He is only the second player in franchise history to accomplish that feat. David Legwand is the only other player to hit 300 assists in a Predators uniform. Edmonton will be missing one key player when they take to the ice Tuesday night. Taylor Hall suffered a concussion on Friday though he did make the trip with the Oilers who start a four-game road trip in Nashville. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports that it is unlikely Hall will play in any of the four upcoming games. The Predators did get Kevin Klein back into the lineup over the weekend in Southern California, but fellow defenseman Roman Josi remains out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. It is also unclear when forward Paul Gaustad will return to the Predators lineup. The center is also out with an upper-body injury. Tuesday night’s game will be the final time Nashville and Edmonton meet this season.  

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