Oilers starting to roll as workmanlike effort carries them past Predators
EDMONTON — Filip Forsberg was playing a video game on a frosty Tuesday in Edmonton, scoring a lacrosse-style goal and firing two pucks at Mike Smith from between his legs, a la Marek Malik.
Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett, meanwhile, wanted no frills — just a steady-Eddie effort from his squad on a minus-32 C night where the Oilers had plenty of excuses to come up cold versus a Nashville Predators team that had won 14 of the past 15 matchups: First game home after a five-game road trip and coming off an emotional game in Calgary.
Nashville came to this freezing berg four points back of the Oilers in the wild-card race, and left six points in arrears after a tidy, 4-2 Oilers win. The only thing pretty about this win was Forsberg’s trickery — the rest was solid, professional work by an Oilers team that led 3-2 after two and gave the Predators almost nothing.
“The second half of the season, the points matter more,” said goalie Smith, who made 30 saves. “Everything gets amplified, and as you creep towards playoffs you want to be playing your best hockey.
“I love the second part of the season, playing big games and helping the team get big wins.”
The highlight of the evening was Forsberg’s goal, which you’ve likely seen on television by now. He circled behind Smith’s net, and at game speed, he got his blade under the puck, lifted it up, turned the stick over and tossed it high-corner on Smith.
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