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12/12/2006 10:54:59 AM

The Edmonton Oilers hope to build a gap between themselves and the Minnesota Wild for top spot in the Northwest Division as the team visits the Nashville Predators tonight.

Edmonton (16-11-2) typically gives the Predators problems, with four wins in the last six meetings between the clubs. However, Nashville defeated the Oilers in their only matchup so far this season, 5-3 on Nov. 1 at Rexall Place.

Jarret Stoll scored one of Edmonton's goals in that contest, and his second-period penalty shot provided the Oilers' only offense in Sunday's 4-1 defeat at Chicago. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Edmonton, which killed off all 10 Blackhawks power-play opportunities, but also saw its scoring chances limited by spending so much time playing short-handed.

The Oilers have successfully killed off 23 consecutive penalties over the last four games, increasing their league-leading percentage to 90.7 on the season.

And it hasn't been easy with Edmonton is battling injuries. Right wing Ales Hemsky has missed the last six games with a right shoulder injury and remains day-to-day. Leading goal-scorer Ryan Smyth is on injured reserve with a fractured thumb and is out indefinitely.

The Oilers are tied with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest Division with 34 points.

Following a rough road trip, the Predators look to snap out of their slump in the opener of a three-game homestand.

Nashville (18-8-3) leads the Central Division with 39 points despite a demanding schedule which saw the Predators play 19 of their first 29 games away from home.

FULL STORY
 

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Two goals in 28 seconds to tie the game at 2. Currently 2:35 left in the second period.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
None
2nd Period
Nashville 0:48, Vernon Fiddler 4 (J.P. Dumont, Greg Zanon)
Nashville 3:32, Alexander Radulov 9 (power play) (Shea Weber, J.P. Dumont)
Edmonton 4:30, Fernando Pisani 6 (Raffi Torres, Jarret Stoll)
Edmonton 4:58, Marc-Andre Bergeron 4 (Raffi Torres, Fernando Pisani)
 
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