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Predators-Oilers Preview

AP - Sports

A spectacular individual performance wasn't enough for the Nashville Predators to win for the fifth time in six games.

But with an offense that has been playing much better, they should have plenty to overwhelm the Edmonton Oilers, who are caught in another lengthy losing streak.

Nashville will visit Edmonton on Sunday night less than two weeks after acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Oilers.

Eric Nystrom scored four times Friday in Calgary but no one else on the Predators (23-22-8) was able to find the back of the net in a 5-4 shootout loss. Nystrom entered with just three two-goal contests in 457 career games, and had tallied one goal over his previous 19.

Nashville entered the third period up 3-1 but was outshot 15-7 over the final 20 minutes. The Predators were only able to kill two of Calgary's five power-play chances.

"I've had some really bad luck this season so it's nice to be rewarded but at the same time, it really means nothing when it comes to a win and a loss," Nystrom said. "I'll take the win every day of the week."

Despite the loss, Nashville is averaging 3.5 goals per game during a 4-1-1 stretch. The Predators were previously averaging 2.3.

That offense should fine success against an Oilers team that has allowed a league-worst 185 goals, and is giving up an average of 4.0 in 11 games this month.

Dubnyk, who was brought in from Edmonton on Jan. 15 in exchange for Matt Hendricks to add goaltending depth with Pekka Rinne recovering from hip surgery, failed to record his first win with his new club in his second start. He stopped 27 shots, six days after surrendering five goals on 29 shots in a 5-4 loss to Colorado.

Ilya Bryzgalov was in net for Edmonton in a 3-0 victory in Nashville on Nov. 28, stopping 33 shots for his lone shutout of the season. Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist. Eberle, who has three goals and an assist during a four-game point streak, has seven goals and four assists in 11 career matchups, while Hall has four goals and five assists in nine meetings,

However, Hall has just one goal during Edmonton's second six-game losing streak of the season. The Oilers (15-32-6) haven't lost seven in a row since dropping 11 straight from March 8-31, 2011.

Edmonton trailed 4-0 just three minutes into the second period Friday before failing to rally in a 4-3 loss to Phoenix. The Oilers were scoreless on five power-play chances and are 2 for 21 during their skid.

"It's been a common theme this year, our consistency," said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his 14th goal. "We might play good for the first period and then sag in the second and play good in the third. We have to find a way to stop doing that. We are killing ourselves with efforts like that, not playing a full game."

The Oilers own a minus-40 scoring margin over the first two periods this season compared to minus-11 in the third. They've surrendered the first goal nine times during a 2-8-3 stretch.

"It's almost like we put ourselves in a situation where we have nothing to lose and that's when we start playing," left winger Ryan Jones said. "We have to come out like that right from the start, obviously."

Hendricks recorded his first point in his fourth game with his new club, scoring a goal in the second period.

It's not clear whether Oilers captain Andrew Ference will be available after leaving Friday's contest with a head injury.

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