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Oilers 5, Predators 1

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Stuck in one of the worst droughts in one of the worst seasons in their history, the Edmonton Oilers enjoyed a rare uplifting night, upsetting the Nashville Predators 5-1 Sunday at Rexall Place.

In just their fifth win since Dec. 10, the Oilers snapped a six-game losing streak.

The Predators (23-22-8) were a model of consistency lately, suffering just four regulation losses in their previous 15 starts (7-4-4). The Oilers (15-32-6) were the exact opposite -- four wins in their last 21 games.

After lamenting their slow starts, the Oilers decided to get it going early Sunday, with defenseman Justin Schultz scoring at 2:59 after some solid down-low work from the line of left winger Luke Gazdic, right winger Jesse Joensuu and center Ryan Smyth.

Nashville squared it on center David Legwand's goal at 15:25, but the Oilers finished the first period as they started it, with right winger Jordan Eberle scoring on a goal-mouth tap-in, courtesy of a nice pass from left winger Taylor Hall at 19:48.

It marked just the 13th time in 54 games that the Oilers held a lead at the first intermission.

The lull that many fans expect from the Oilers didn't come in the second period. In fact, Edmonton poured it on some more, making it 3-1 on a power-play goal from Smyth and 4-1 when right winger Nail Yakupov scored his first since Jan. 7.

Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added to the lead with a power-play goal late in the third period to make it 5-1.

The Predators had two goals disallowed due to goaltender-interference penalties.

Goalie Ben Scrivens posted his first win since joining the Oilers in the Jan. 16 trade with the Los Angeles Kings. He made 34 saves.

Nashville goalie Carter Hutton stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced.

NOTES: Oilers D Andrew Ference sat out the game with a head injury after colliding with one of the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday. ... Edmonton RW Ales Hemsky remains out of the lineup with a bone bruise in his ankle after being hit with a shot from teammate Luke Gazdic, who won the hardest shot event at the Oilers' skills competition Saturday. ... Predators rookie D Seth Jones began the day ranked third among NHL rookies in minutes played at 20:56 per game. He played 18:09 Sunday. ... Former Oilers G Devan Dubnyk didn't get the start in Nashville's first game against Edmonton since the trade. He is struggling with the Predators, allowing nine goals in two games.
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