It didn't matter in the contest between the two teams at Rexall place.
The Oilers jumped out to a 3-0 lead en route to a 5-1 thrashing of the listless Predators.
Sam Gagner opened the scoring in the first period as was left alone in front of the Predators net and slapped home a rebound of a Martin Marincin shot that Pekka Rinne could not control. The goal came with just 35 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Oilers extended their lead in the second period as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took advantage of a great pass and fired the puck into an open net on the power play at 8:18 of the period. Taylor Hall made it 3-0 at 14:48 as he beat Rinne with a beautiful backhand to the far post.
The Predators were finally able to get a puck past Viktor Fasth to make it 3-1 at 18:39 as Gabriel Bourque banged a puck into the net for his first goal in 29 games. Bourque was battling in front and finally (FINALLY!!) found the net.
It just got worse for the Predators in the third period as Jordan Eberle scored just as a Predators penalty expired. He shot a backhand that caromed off the shoulder of Rinne and into the net to make it 4-1 at 8:39.
Eberle struck at 10:01 as he beat the defense to the puck and then beat Rinne with a backhand that as realistically a bad goal from a sharp angle to make it 5-1.
That was it for Rinne and Carter Hutton came into to the game.
- The Predators had some good scoring chances, but once again their inability to finish their chances bit them in the butt. More troubling for the Predators is they did not get to many rebounds to get second scoring chances.
- The Predators looked like a team that is just playing out the season. There was not a lot of compete from this team tonight.
- Rinne let in in two bad goals, but he also did not get a lot of help from the defense in front of him. The Oilers forwards constantly beat the defense back to get into prime scoring position. This was one of the worst games for the D corps in a while.
- It's beyond obvious that this group of forwards is not capable of consistently scoring. It is time, in my opinion, to give some of the talented young guys in Milwaukee an opportunity to see some meaningful ice time in the remainder of this season. Forsberg and Jarnkrok certainly cannot do any worse than what the Predators are putting on the ice right now.
- The Oilers swept the season series from the Predators 3-0. There are no words.
The remainder of the season is about playing for pride and a roster spot.
It will be interesting to see who steps up.
My three stars:
1. Jordan Eberle
2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
3. Sam Gagner