A winning streak after a slow start can do wonders for a team’s confidence. Ending a long skid against a certain opponent should do more.On Saturday night at Rogers Place Adidas J.T. Brown Jersey , the Edmonton Oilers go for their first win over the Nashville Predators in more than 4 1/2 years.Since recording a 5-1 victory on March 18, 2014, in Edmonton, the Oilers have gone 0-10-2 versus Nashville. That includes two shutouts among five straight regulation losses.Article continues below ...Edmonton (3-2-0), which is looking for its fourth consecutive win, has yet to hold a lead after one period in any game this season. The club can thank Cam Talbot for the recent surge as he enjoys a resurgence.After a career-best 42 wins and 2.39 goals-against average two seasons ago, Talbot slumped to 31 victories and his GAA rose to 3.02 last season. He credits staying confident early for his recent success as he’s stopped 79 of 86 shots while winning three straight starts.“I’m just going out there and trying to give us a chance,” Talbot said Friday. “I know that if I can get us through that first 10-15 minutes, we seem to take over the game after that point.”Having Connor McDavid on the ice also gives the Oilers a huge confidence boost. He collected two assists, one coming on Leon Draisaitl’s game-winner 37 seconds into overtime, as Edmonton opened its home schedule Thursday night with its third straight win, 3-2 over the Boston Bruins.McDavid, the reigning two-time scoring champion Adidas Adam Pelech Jersey , has four goals and seven assists through five games. He also scored goals in each of the Oilers’ last two matchups with the Preds.Still, coach Todd McLellan praised Talbot, who stopped all 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 27 saves against the Bruins.“Talbs was essential in the first period,” McLellan told the team’s official website on Thursday. “We were flat, we were frozen. Once we got going and once we got skating and supporting puck movement, we were a lot better.“Without Cam’s performance in the first period, we don’t get a chance to come back.”But Talbot hasn’t beaten the Predators since joining Edmonton as a free agent in 2015 despite solid statistics. In seven starts, the 31-year-old is 0-6-1 with a 2.89 GAA.Nashville (6-1-0) opened its road trip through Alberta with a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night. The Preds’ lone loss of the season came in their home opener on Oct. 9 against the FlamesPekka Rinne stopped 15 of 18 shots Friday before being lifted early in the third period after colliding with winger Kevin Fiala. According to the team’s official website, Predators coach Peter Laviolette did not have an update on Rinne after the game.Juuse Saros made nine saves the rest of the way to get the win, and will likely start with games on back-to-back nights as well as to give the 35-year-old Vezina Trophy winner some extended rest.“Just because we have the backup in doesn’t mean we can’t win,” defenseman Yannick Weber told the team’s official website on Thursday. “Juuse gives us a chance to win every game he plays. We’ve seen it already this year, too, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”Saros Adidas Thomas Hickey Jersey , a 23-year-old Finn who defeated the New York Islanders twice in his only two appearances of the season before Friday, has stopped 55 of 60 shots.He also made a career-high 46 saves in a 4-0 win over the Oilers on Dec. 14, 2017, in Edmonton.Rinne is 20-6-1 with a 2.31 GAA and four shutouts in 29 career starts against the Oilers.With a goal and assist Friday, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg has four goals and two assists in a four-game streak. Two of the three career goals the winger has scored at Rogers Place have come on the power play. The Edmonton Oilers have one of the league’s top players in reigning two-time scoring champion Connor McDavid. But heading into their home opener, the spotlight may be on the club’s defensive unit as they are tasked with shutting down one of the NHL’s top lines.Edmonton finally plays at Rogers Place on Thursday night when they face the Boston Bruins, who are led by the red-hot trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.The excitement of playing at home for the first time comes after Edmonton (2-2-0) rallied from a three-goal, third-period deficit to top the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 on Tuesday night. That ended the Jets’ 11-game regular-season home winning streak.Article continues below ...After salvaging a split of a four-game season-opening road trip that started in Sweden, Oilers coach Todd McLellan wants to see his club play hard from the initial faceoff to the final horn.“They poured it all out, in my opinion, in the last period and a half. We didn’t pour it all out in the first period and a half, and our team cannot afford to waste minutes. It has to be on the line from minute one to minute 60 Adidas Tom Kuhnhackl Jersey ,” he said Wednesday. Tuesday’s win also started a stretch in which Edmonton will play six straight games against teams that collected at least 100 points apiece in 2017-18. After facing the Bruins, the Oilers take on the Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals at Rogers Place before travelling to Nashville.“This homestand’s obviously really important and we’re playing some A-class teams,” McLellan noted.Last season, Edmonton was 19-18-4 at home but closed the campaign with three straight losses there.McDavid had two goals and two assists against the Jets and set an NHL record by having a hand in Edmonton’s first nine goals this season. Three of the captain’s four goals have come on the power play. He had five such tallies in 2017-18.“Pucks are going in for him and he’s very confident. He’s Connor,” McLellan said of McDavid, who has 17 goals and 18 assists in his last 16 home games, and a goal with seven assists in five career games versus Boston.Edmonton and Boston (4-2-0) close the season series with this matchup. McDavid scored early, but Cam Talbot yielded three goals in less than six minutes of the opening period en route to a 4-1 loss to Boston on Oct. 11. “That’s a good team over there,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said on Wednesday. “They play hard. They’re very skilled. You can’t give them too much.”Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak have spearheaded the Bruins’ offense so far, combining for 15 of the club’s 24 goals. They accounted for two goals and two assists on Wednesday, but Boston’s four-game winning streak was snapped with a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.All three players are riding five-game point streaks. Marchand has two goals and nine assists in that span Adidas Matt Martin Jersey , while Pastrnak — who had a goal against Calgary waved off after video review — has seven goals with three helpers.With five consecutive multipoint games, Bergeron has been the best of the bunch with six goals and seven assists. He is also the current NHL First Star of the Week.In 17 career games in Edmonton, Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak have totaled five goals and seven assists.Boston coach Bruce Cassidy is concerned about the lack of production from the remainder of the team.“We know we have a line that’s going to deliver that every night. We went home and we did get some of that much better balance. You hope that continues. It didn’t tonight,” Cassidy told the Boston Herald.Tuukka Rask stopped 23 Flames shots, but is 0-3-2 with a 3.79 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in his last five starts versus Edmonton.“We left our goalie out to dry, and it could have been worse,” Bergeron told the Boston Globe.It doesn’t appear Rask will get the chance to earn a win Thursday. In a tweet from the team earlier in the week, Cassidy said Jaroslav Halak would start against Edmonton. Halak has turned away 73 of 76 shots, including a 25-save effort versus the Oilers one week ago, while winning both of his starts for Boston.He’s given up a total of seven goals while losing each of his last two road starts against Edmonton.
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