That hasn’t been the case lately.
Vokoun hopes to end a personal three-game losing streak when the Predators face the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
With Vokoun struggling, backup Chris Mason made his seventh start of the season Friday and stopped 17 shots in a 5-2 victory over Washington.
Scott Hartnell led the offense with two goals and an assist as Nashville ended a three-game losing streak during which it was outscored 14-5.
“I’m just thankful I can come in,” Mason said. “We need Tomas if we’re going to make the playoffs. Hopefully, he’s having a great rest and he’ll be ready to go.”
Vokoun, one win shy of tying his career high of 25, has given up three goals or more in six of his last seven starts. He has allowed 12 goals during three straight losses.
Nashville’s Martin Erat had two assists Friday, giving him a goal and seven assists in his last five games.
Edmonton was building momentum with three straight wins before opening a four-game trip with a 3-0 loss at Minnesota on Friday.
There was no exact timetable for Conklin’s return, but he and coach Craig MacTavish both said it wouldn’t keep him out for an extended period.
“He’s been the difference in our games, so it’ll be a big loss,” Edmonton’s Ethan Moreau said.
After facing Nashville, the Oilers close their road trip with games at Detroit and Colorado—arguably the league’s two best teams.
STANDINGS (through Feb. 13): Oilers - 55 points, 5th place, 21 PB, Northwest Division. Predators - 62 points, 2nd place, 12 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Raffi Torres, 17 goals; Radek Dvorak, 25 assists; Mike York, 37 points; Jason Smith, 83 PIM. Predators - Scott Walker, 16 goals and 37 points; Erat and Kimmo Timonen, 24 assists; Jordin Tootoo, 107 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 13): Oilers - Power play: 10.7 percent (26 for 242), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (210 for 261), 28th. Predators - Power play: 15.0 percent (44 for 294), 20th. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (214 for 262), 24th.
GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Salo (12-15-4, 3 SO, 2.57 GAA); Michael Morrison (no appearances); Predators - Vokoun (24-20-5, 2, 2.61); Mason (3-3-1, 1, 2.11).
SEASON SERIES: Predators, 2-0.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 8-13-5-1 on the road; Predators - 18-7-4-1 at home.