Predators visit Oilers, hunt playoff spot

Predators visit Oilers, hunt playoff spot

After absorbing a 4-2 loss to Vancouver over the weekend, Nashville knows it can ill afford another Great White North slipup tonight.

The Predators (34-22-13) remain 10 points behind Central Division co-leaders St. Louis and Dallas despite a recent 14-game point streak. That translates into a heightened sense of urgency against Edmonton beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Online sports book BetDSI understands the big picture for Peter Laviolette’s crew, which currently nets odds of -175 to come through at Rexall Place. The Oilers, with an average of 1.77 goals since Feb. 18, are plus-175 underdogs on the money line.

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Nashville has suffered just two regulation defeats since Feb. 9. Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith and Shea Weber own a combined 20 points over the last six tilts, helping to offset some uncharacteristically shaky play from Pekka Rinne.

The All-Star netminder carries a save percentage of .904 this month, but he relishes facing Edmonton. Rinne blanked the Western Conference’s worst team on Oct. 10 and made 23 saves in a 4-1 win three months later.

Clearly, the Oilers (27-37-7) have hardly surged in the ensuing weeks. Provided that the Preds hold 19-year-old phenom Connor McDavid (35 points in 34 contests) off the score sheet, you’re sizing up a full-fledged rout.

MONDAY NHL FREE PICK: PREDATORS -1.5

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