The Edmonton Oilers’ miserable start to the season continued Saturday afternoon with a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators at Rogers Place.
The Oilers record drops to 2-7-1. They haven’t won in five games at Rogers Place.
“It’s just death by a thousand cuts,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid lamented post-game.
“When you’re in a funk or in it up to your knees, the only way forward is to stick together,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft told media after the loss. “We’re aware that for us to win, right now it has to be on the defensive side of things, not on the offensive side.”
Edmonton took the lead halfway through the first on the power play. Darnell Nurse’s point shot rattled off the post, hit Predators goalie Kevin Lankinen and squirted over the goal line. Filip Forsberg tied it just 25 seconds later, beating Jack Campbell on a wrap around.
“Jack’s wearing the same jersey as the rest of us. I thought the whole group underperformed,” Woodcroft said.
“We know how good we can be, and we know what’s causing us to be in this spot,” Zach Hyman said. “There’s no magic pill, we just have to go out there and fix it.”
Ryan O’Reilly jammed in a rebound 23 seconds into the second to make it 2-1 Nashville. He scored again 3:01 later, converting a power play pass from Forsberg.
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“Those are key moments that we talk about all the time–the shift after a goal, the shift to start a period, the shift to start a game–those are things you talk about and that the coach talks about, but we have to go out there and do it,” Hyman said after the loss.
“That’s not a good sign for our group. The shift after a goal–whether you score it or give it up–is an important one,” Woodcroft added.
Hyman notched his fourth on an Oilers man advantage, deflecting in Evan Bouchard’s slapper. Tommy Novak roofed a shot on a breakaway to put the Preds up 4-2 with 4:45 left in the second.
O’Reilly completed the hat trick off a scramble in front in the third.
The Predators hadn’t beaten the Oilers in regulation time in twelve games going back to October 20, 2018.
The Oilers will play in Vancouver on Monday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m, game at 8 p.m).
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