It was Ryan Smyth bobble-head night at Rexall Place and the fan favourite did not disappoint, sending every one home happy. The veteran forward scored the winning goal in a 3-1 Oilers victory over the visiting Nashville Predators. Edmonton scored three goals in third to earn the come from behind win. Shawn Horcoff lead the way on the score sheet, with three helpers and was his usual stellar self in the defensive zone.
While the Preds led after 40 minutes, it was Edmonton who had carried the play but were unable to beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Oilers kept coming in the third period and were finally rewarded. Taylor Hall scored his first of the season on the power play, courtesy of a beautiful cross ice pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, to even it up. While the new "top line" managed to hit the score sheet once, they dominated all night long and if not for Rinne, all three would have had crooked numbers in the box score. Smyth scored two minutes later on a great pass from Horcoff to put the Oilers in the lead and linemate Ryan Jones finished it off with his first of the season into an empty net.
- This was arguably the best defensive effort this club has put together in sometime. They only gave up 12 shots against and the six man unit at the back were particularly solid. In all fairness, it is not as though Nashville pushes the envelope much but that is not the Oilers fault. They were patient and did not force things, which ultimately creates turnovers against teams like the Predators. Good thing, as the Minnesota Wild are in town on Thursday.
- The Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle line was even better then they were Saturday night against the Canucks. Watching the trio cycle the puck down low was pretty damn impressive. They had chance after chance and it was nice to finally see Hall hit the back of the net. I have said this before and I will say it again, can people just stop talking about RNH and his struggles in the face-off circle? I do not care and I am frankly tired of hearing about it.
- Linus Omark was great tonight but was not rewarded on the score sheet. The Swede was a puck hound all night and every time he was man handled by Shea Weber or Ryan Suter, he came back even harder. If Omark plays with that sort of determination on a nightly basis, he won't see the press box again.
- The three points aside, Horcoff was solid all night long. He and Smyth are starting to find the comfort level with one another again and I think Shawn was hit with a jolt of confidence after being put on the power play with the kids.
- Honestly not much to complain about tonight but I think the time has come to probably send Anton Lander down to Oklahoma City. Lander has been good when he has seen the ice on the PK and his limited 5-on-5 duty but with the team running with three lines most nights, having the Swede play major minutes for the Barons will help his development further then sitting on the bench in Edmonton. Calling Ryan O'Marra up to fill the spot, until Sam Gagner is ready, seems to make the most sense. Have him play his 5-7 minutes a night and help out in the face-off circle and penalty kill.