Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros covers up a shot on goal by the St. Louis Blues in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 30, 2016. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers dominated the Nashville Predators everywhere but on the scoreboard Thursday.
They outshot Nashville 22-4 in the first period. They were up 33-13 in shots at the end of the second. It should have been a blowout.
But in a bizarre 60 minutes at Rogers Place, the Oilers were the guys who wound up getting blown out in a 4-0 loss to the Central Division-leading Predators.
Backup goaltender Juuse Saros stole the show. The 22-year-old, starting in place of Pekka Rinne, stopped 46 shots for his third victory of the season.
Pontus Aberg, Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris and Roman Josi scored on four of Nashville's first 13 shots on Edmonton goalie Laurent Brossoit.
It was scoreless after the first 20 minutes but the Predators took over for good in the second.
Aberg scored on their first shot of the second period and their fifth of the game. Fiala made it 2-0 on their seventh shot, Turris made it 3-0 on their 11th and Josi made it 4-0 on their 13th.
The Predators continue to steamroll the rest of the NHL. They are 15-2-2 in their last 19 games and 20-7-4 overall.
It's been a maddening stretch for the Oilers (13-17-2). In their last four games, they have shelled two of the best goalies in the NHL, putting up 13 goals in chasing Montreal's Carey Price and Columbus's Sergei Bobrovsky, but have been stymied by a pair of backups in Saros and Toronto's Curtis McElhinney, who beat them 1-0.
NOTES: Oilers G Cam Talbot, who has been out six games with a lower-body injury, is now days away from a return. He expects to be in one of the next two games. ... Nashville G Pekka Rinne is 9-0-0 with three shutouts in his last nine games against Edmonton, but sat out Thursday because he played Wednesday. ... Predators C Ryan Johansen saw his four-game point scoring streak against the Oilers come to an end. ... The Predators are 12-2-2 since Kyle Turris joined the team. ... Oilers D Adam Larsson, who's been out more than a week with an upper-body injury, is now practicing with the team and expects to be back by the weekend. ... The Oilers have only won back-to-back games twice in the first 32 games of the season. ... Nashville has only lost five games in regulation since dropping the first two contests of the regular season. ... The Oilers have won only five of their first 15 games at home this season.