Edmonton (19-36-6) at Nashville (33-23-5)

Cloudy Currently: Nashville, TN
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Tue Mar 2, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Nashville Predators may have been an unlikely team to have six Olympians, and now Shea Weber(notes) and Ryan Suter(notes) are returning with medals after meeting for the gold.

The defensemen look to carry their success back to the Predators on Tuesday night as they try to continue their dominance of the NHL-worst Edmonton Oilers.

Nashville (33-23-5) is second in the Central Division, but the 16-point gap on Chicago might be too much to overcome.

While winning their first division title is probably out of reach, the Predators are seventh in the Western Conference as they try to reach the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

They stumbled into the two-week Olympic break, going 4-7-2 but Weber capped that stretch by getting one goal and one assist in 4-3 overtime win at Pittsburgh on Feb. 14.

Despite those recent struggles, Nashville had six representatives at the Olympics with Weber being named to the tournament’s All-Star team. He had two goals and four assists in seven games to help Canada win gold with a 3-2 overtime win against Suter’s American team.

Suter tied with Canada’s Jonathan Toews(notes) with a tournament-best plus-9 rating.

Weber and Suter will rejoin right wings Patric Hornqvist(notes) (Sweden) and Martin Erat(notes) (Czech Republic), center Marcel Goc(notes) and defenseman Alexander Sulzer(notes) (both Germany), on the Predators and a visit from Edmonton (19-36-6) might help them return in strong fashion.

They’ve won 13 of the last 15 meetings with the Oilers, including six of seven in Nashville. However, they lost 6-1 in the last meeting there Oct. 12 before taking the next two matchups in Edmonton, including a 5-3 win Jan. 12 behind one goal and one assist each from Weber, Hornqvist and Goc.

Hornqvist, who leads Nashville with 23 goals, has four goals and three assists in four games against the Oilers, while Weber has six goals and six assists in 14 meetings.

The Predators figure to have Pekka Rinne(notes) in net after signing him to a two-year, $6.8 million contract extension Wednesday.

Rinne is 20-12-4 with a 2.80 goals-against average in his second full season while splitting time with Dan Ellis(notes).

Both have had success against Edmonton with Rinne going 4-1-0 with a 3.45 GAA in seven games, while Ellis owns a 5-1-0 mark with a 2.46 GAA in seven contests.

The Oilers, who have a league-low 44 points, return from the break trying to win for just the fifth time in 30 games.

Edmonton had two Olympians before trading one to Nashville on Monday. The Predators acquired defenseman Denis Grebeshkov(notes) from the Oilers in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s draft.

Grebeshkov played for Russia in the Olympics, recording one assist while playing in all four games. He had 19 points, including six goals, in 47 games with the Oilers.

Lubomir Visnovsky(notes) also represented the Oilers in Vancouver, finishing with two goals and one assist in seven contests as Slovakia’s bid for its first medal came up short in a 5-3 loss to Finland on Saturday in the bronze-medal game.

Visnovsky, who has 10 goals and 22 assists for Edmonton, was reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee for testing positive for the stimulant pseudoephedrine contained in an over-the-counter cold medication.

The IOC said Visnovsky declared on his doping control form that he was taking the medication and didn’t know it was prohibited.

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Tuesday, Mar 2