EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves for his fifth shutout of the season to help the Nashville Predators snap a two-game losing skid with a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
The Oilers have only one win in their past 14 games and will spend the last six games of the regular season on the road.
“You hate going out like that,” said Oilers forward Fernando Pisani. “We just couldn’t get anything going tonight. The chances we had we couldn’t put in and they capitalized on theirs. It’s obviously a tough way to go out in front of our fans who have been through a lot in the last little while.”
With the win, Nashville moved two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for top spot in the Western Conference.
“The standings are so close we didn’t want to fall back,” said Vokoun. “We’ve been on top of our division for the whole year and we want to get that home advantage in the playoffs so two points here is worth as much as two points anywhere else. You don’t want to get on a slide, especially right before the playoffs.”
Nashville had lost four of its past five before defeating Edmonton.
“We only grabbed one of the first four points (on the road trip) so I think it was great to for us to get the win tonight so we can stay among the top teams,” Predators forward Peter Forsberg said. “We’ve played some tough teams in the last couple of games but it was great to finish off the trip with three points instead of one.”
Nashville took a 1-0 lead just 4:28 into the first period as Peter Forsberg picked up a rebound at the side of the net, and found Radulov open in front for a tap-in past Oilers goalie Jussi Markkanen.
The Predators broke the game open six minutes into the second period with two goals in a 25-second span. Weber sent a shot from the right point on the power play that beat Markkanen to put Nashville ahead 2-0.
Nashville made it 3-0 when Suter’s shot took an odd bounce past Markkanen.
The Predators padded their lead with early goal in the third as Marek Zidlicky passed it to Fiddler and his slap shot beat Markkanen to make it 4-0.
The two teams play again in Nashville on Tuesday as the Predators start a five-game homestand.
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish believes things will be much different next season.
“What’s happened here is something that is going to be largely fixed with a couple months in the summer and getting healthy,” he said. “And we also have to go out and add some components so we can turn this around and make next year as enjoyable as two years ago. We feel it is very doable.”
: With another crowd of 16,839 the Oilers sold out all 41 of their games at Rexall Place in Edmonton this season. They have now filled the building for 73 consecutive games going back to Nov. 29, 2005. … Oilers forward Ales Hemsky was forced to sit out the game, still suffering from a shoulder injury. He dressed against the Avalanche on Friday and made an impact, scoring a goal to help Edmonton break their 12-game winless streak with a 4-3 shootout win.