SUN Hockey Pool

Old habits die hard for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

A night after edging Colorado in a five-round shootout to snap a 12-game losing streak, the Edmonton Oilers discovered that old habits - like losing - die hard.

So in their final home game of this dreadful, dismal season, they assumed the position one more time in a 4-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.

"It was a disappointing and somewhat predictable finish," said head coach Craig MacTavish.

The Oilers went out like lambs, shut out for the fourth time and held to one goal or less for the 11th time in 14 games.

When they couldn't get their fans a win on the last night of the home schedule, they turned their attention to a goal. Just one. And they couldn't even manage that. Tomas Vokoun stopped 26 shots for the goose egg.

"We wanted to at least give them something to cheer about," said Fernando Pisani.

"You never quit. You play right to the end. You work hard, you get in deep, you don't want their goalie to have a shutout."

With one win in the last 14, we can safely assume it wasn't overconfidence, but the Oilers were a step behind all night.

Alexander Radulov made it 1-0 in the first, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter made it 3-0 in the second, and Vern Fiddler rounded out the scoring in the third.

"This was a tough one because we wanted to finish up with a win because the fans have been unbelievable," said defenceman Matt Greene.

"And I thought for the most part we played well, it was just the little things, the little mistakes that they capitalized on."

Now they say good-bye to Edmonton and head out on the road for a season-ending six-game road trip.

"I'm sure in a lot of situations like these guys dread playing home games and they'd be glad to get out on the road," said Greene.

"That isn't the case at all here. The people here have been great; they know we're a lot of young guys playing as hard as they can."

Last one out of Rexall, turn out the lights.

"I guess it's a bit of a mixed blessing," MacTavish said of the road trip.

"That when you're at the stage (injury-wise) that we're at right now, we're not revealing this game in front our home fans all the time."

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WHO'S HOT

- PETER FORSBERG: Plays a quiet game and still comes away with two points.

- MAREK ZIDLICKY: A goal and an assist.

WHO'S NOT

- RAFFI TORRES: Spends most of the game on the pine after a bad second period penalty.

- JUSSI MARKKANEN: Four goals on 19 shots. Not one of his best efforts.

THE GRADES

- OFFENCE: F

- DEFENCE: C

- GOALTENDING: C-

- POWER PLAY: F

- PENALTY KILLING: C+

- DISCIPLINE: C

- EFFORT: B

THE SUMMARY

PREDATORS 4, OILERS 0

FIRST PERIOD

1. Nashville, Radulov 15 (Forsberg, Fiddler) 4:28

Penalties -- Zidlicky Nash (boarding) 5:18, Reasoner Edm (tripping) 5:40.

SECOND PERIOD

2. Nashville, Weber 16 (Forsberg, Timonen) 6:08 (pp)

3. Nashville, Suter 8 (Legwand, Smithson) 6:33

Penalties -- Sykora Edm (holding) 2:49, Torres Edm (tripping) 5:21, Kariya Nash (hooking) 7:23, Smith Edm (holding) 9:54.

THIRD PERIOD

4. Nashville, Fiddler 11 (Zidlicky, Radulov) 2:38

Penalties -- Weber Nash (slashing) 10:55, Abid Nash (roughing) 18:43, Smid Edm (double roughing) 18:43.

SHOTS ON GOAL BY

Nashville 10 17 9--26

Edmonton 12 8 6--26

Goal -- Nashville: Vokoun (W,24-10-4); Edmonton: Markkanen (L,5-6-1).

Power plays (goals-chances) -- Nashville: 1-5; Edmonton: 0-3.

Referees -- Greg Kimmerly, Don Koharski.

ATTENDANCE AT EDMONTON -- 16,839 (16,839).

THE PLAY

With the score 1-0 early in the second period and the game still in doubt, Nashville scored twice in 25 seconds - Shea Weber and Ryan Suter - to close the deal.

NEXT UP

- NASHVILLE: Tuesday, 6 p.m., Gaylord Ent. Center (SNet, 630 CHED)


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