The Nashville Predators may have finally solved their road woes. Their goaltending situation, however, may be becoming more cloudy.
The Predators try to win their second straight when they continue their five-game road trip Friday against the struggling Edmonton Oilers.
Nashville (5-7-0) had scored just three goals in losing its first five road games, but matched that total on just 15 shots in Thursday’s 3-0 win at Vancouver.
“To finally get that monkey off our backs and realize we can win on the road, that’s it’s not a curse or anything like that, it feels great,” said goalie Dan Ellis.
Ellis stopped 29 shots Tuesday for his third straight win - including his second shutout - in place of opening-night starter Chris Mason.
“I’m happy to get the opportunity,” said Ellis, a second-round draft pick by Dallas in 2001, who had made just one career start prior to this season.
“I’m a minor-league guy who just came up and I just want to stay here, really. I was in the minors for four years and you finally get the chance, you want to make a career of it and not just be a flash in the pan.”
Mason opened the year with consecutive wins, but has lost a career-high seven straight games since. He has posted a 5.08 goals-against average during his skid, including a 4.55 GAA in five road losses. Mason, though, recorded a 2.51 GAA in winning both of his starts against the Oilers last season.
Predators coach Barry Trotz has not announced which goalie will start this game.
Nashville swept its four-game season series with the Oilers in 2006-07, including a pair of wins at Rexall Place by a combined 9-3 margin.
Edmonton (5-8-0) is coming off a demoralizing 2-1 loss to Detroit on Tuesday, when it allowed the Red Wings to score the game-winner with 24.4 seconds left in regulation.
“We were all thinking it was looking like overtime,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “It’s very disappointing and tough to take. To get the sense you may get a point or two out of the game and to have that quickly evaporate in the last 30 seconds of a game.”
The Oilers have had a difficult time generating offense, as they’ve been held to two goals or fewer in all eight of their losses. On Tuesday, they managed just three shots in the third period and finished with a season-low 16 total shots on net.
Dwayne Roloson stopped 32 shots but lost his second straight start. The Edmonton netminder is 3-7-0 with a 2.99 GAA on the season.
He was in net for three of the losses to Nashville last season, compiling a 3.73 GAA in those games. Roloson has lost four straight decisions to the Predators, and is 2-5-0 with one tie and a 2.61 GAA lifetime against them.