The Nashville Predators' road trip through Western Canada is off to a good start. It has an excellent chance to get even better with a visit to Edmonton.
The surging Predators look to match a season high with their fourth straight road victory Tuesday night while trying to hand the Oilers a fifth consecutive loss.
Shea Weber scored on a late power play to give Nashville (27-16-3) a 3-2 win at Vancouver on Monday to open a three-game trip that concludes Friday at Calgary. Despite six goals with the man advantage over the last four games, the Predators' power play ranks just 21st in the NHL.
"That's something we've really talked about lately: Our special teams have got to get a lot better," said Weber, who has nine points in his last seven games. "They're going to win us games. The Western Conference is so tight and teams are so good 5-on-5, you've got to be good on special teams."
Special teams provided all the scoring for Nashville against the Canucks. Ryan Jones had a power-play goal and Joel Ward tallied a short-handed score.
It was the fifth win in seven games overall for the Predators, who have also won seven of nine away from home. They're looking to win four straight road games -- a feat they last pulled off Dec. 4-19.
That may not be a tough task against Edmonton (16-23-5), last in the West and mired in a 1-10-1 slump.
"We're not playing like we have skill," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "We're not playing like we have drive and work ethic. We're not playing like we really care what our occupation is."
These teams have split their two meetings this season, with each winning on the other's home ice. The Predators have won two in a row and six of seven at Edmonton, where the Oilers have lost nine of their last 10 home games overall.
Though Nashville's Patric Hornqvist had his three-game goal-scoring streak snapped Monday, he has 11 in his last 14 contests. He had two goals with an assist in a 6-3 win at Edmonton on Dec. 17.
The Predators' Dan Ellis made 30 saves Monday to improve to 10-8-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average, but Pekka Rinne is likely to be in net to complete this back-to-back scenario.
Rinne is 17-8-2 with a 2.73 GAA on the season and 3-1-0 despite a 3.56 GAA against the Oilers. He was pulled after allowing two goals in as many shots in the Predators' victory in Edmonton last month.
Edmonton will play for the first time since losing 4-2 at home to Columbus on Thursday.The Oilers spent their down time holding minicamp-style workouts in an attempt to get back on track.
"Four days isn't going to make a major difference I don't think, because we have some room to go as far as becoming a team," Quinn told the Oilers' official Web site. "But maybe we've made some steps that way."
Sam Gagner scored Thursday for the Oilers, who are averaging 1.9 goals in their last 12 games. Gagner has a goal and three assists in his last four games, but has not recorded a point against Nashville this season.
Jeff Deslauries, who's started 21 of 22 games since the Edmonton lost Nikolai Khabibulin (back) on Nov. 16, has compiled a 3.51 GAA while starting his first two career games against Nashville this season.