Forsberg, Neal lead Predators over Oilers 5-4

Forsberg, Neal lead Predators over Oilers 5-4

NASHVILLE — It took over seven minutes to confirm Viktor Arvidsson’s go-ahead goal for the Nashville Predators. Even after all the replays, Edmonton coach Todd McLellan isn’t convinced.

Filip Forsberg scored for the fourth straight game, Arvidsson got the game-winner and the Predators beat the Oilers 5-4 on Sunday night.

On the winner, James Neal had the puck in the low slot and slipped a blind backhand pass to Arvidsson on the left side. Arvidsson tapped in his 21st of the season 1:19 into the third on a power play.

Edmonton challenged the play, thinking Arvidsson was offside, but a lengthy review upheld the goal.

Arvidsson had jumped as the puck crossed the Oilers blue line on entry, and McLellan was not pleased with the ruling.

“We’re going to have to get a review on what is or isn’t offside,” he said. “Feet in the air obviously come into play, but the rule book clearly says that the two feet have to be in contact with the ice surface as the puck is entering the line. Referees have a tough job and regardless of that, we gave up three power-play goals, you don’t win like that.”

Neal had three assists, and Ryan Ellis, Vernon Fiddler and Colin Wilson also scored for Nashville, winner of three straight.

Three of Nashville’s goals came on the power play with Neal assisting on two of them.

“Power plays can win you games and it’s something we put a lot of emphasis on,” Neal said. “It’s good to see it came through.”

Connor McDavid, Milan Lucic, Mark Letestu and Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton, which has lost three of four.

Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for Nashville, extending his winning streak against the Oilers to nine games.

Cam Talbot allowed five goals on 28 shots for Edmonton.

Ellis scored the first goal at 4:55 of the opening period. After Edmonton was whistled for a too many men on the ice, P.K. Subban sent a pass from the right point to Ellis above the left faceoff circle, where he sent a one-timer by Talbot. The goal was the tenth of the season for Ellis, matching a career high.

McDavid evened the game 28 seconds later. Edmonton’s captain picked up the puck in the neutral zone and drove down the right side, flying by defenceman Roman Josi and beating Ellis as he cut to the middle.

Forsberg made it 2-1 at 14:34 of the first on a power play. Neal had the puck low on the right side by the goal line and sent a spinning backhand pass to Forsberg in the left circle, where he beat Talbot with a one-timer. Forsberg has eight goals and three assists in his last five games, including consecutive hat tricks against Colorado and Calgary.

Fiddler scored at 7:29 of the second on a wrist shot from the right side. It was his first goal since being traded to Nashville on Feb. 4.

A wild five-minute stretch late in the second period including four goals, three by Edmonton.

Lucic scored on the power play at 14:12 on a redirect of a shot by McDavid.

Wilson then scored at 15:21 with a backhand from the low slot. The goal was initially waived off by referee Tim Peel and play was allowed to continue. Nashville’s Craig Smith was whistled for a tripping penalty and play was stopped, and at that stoppage, the goal was confirmed on replay.

The penalty also stood, as per NHL rules, and Letestu scored on the ensuing power play. Eberle closed out the period’s scoring with an even-strength marker at 19:00.

Ellis helped preserve the victory for Rinne in the game’s final minute. With the goaltender scrambling, Ellis was in the crease and swatted a McDavid shot away with his stick with 22 seconds remaining.

NOTES: Subban and Josi each had two assists. … Nashville C Ryan Johansen extended his assist streak to four games. In those four games, he has seven assists. … The Predators have defeated the Oilers in all three matchups this season. … Edmonton D Darnell Nurse returned to the lineup after missing 37 games with an ankle injury.


Oilers: At St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Predators: At Buffalo on Tuesday night.

Jim Diamond, The Associated Press

Canadian Press

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