Ryan O’Reilly had three goals and an assist and the Nashville Predators beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Saturday to end a two-game losing streak.
Filip Forsberg added a goal and two assists, Thomas Novak also scored and Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves to help the Predators improve to 5-6-0.
“We were playing against that (Connor) McDavid line and such, it’s always tough,” said O’Reilly, who signed with Nashville as a free agent this past summer after a stint with Toronto. “But we were connected, we were doing the right things and just kind of moving our feet with the puck.”
O’Reilly has five career hat tricks.
“He’s probably the smartest player that I’ve played with in this league, maybe,” Forsberg said. “He just knows where to go, he’s so good with his stick detail. You see all three, even the fourth goal that he ended up scoring, he’s just around the net finding loose pucks. It’s pretty simple for me, I just try to get it to him.”
Darnell Nurse and Zach Hyman scored for Edmonton and Jack Campbell stopped 29 shots. Winless at home, the Oilers have lost six of seven to drop to 2-7-1.
“I thought we had a good start and then the mental mistakes that keep costing us over and over again made us chase the game and it is hard to chase games in this league,” McDavid said. “It is just death by a thousand cuts, that is what it feels like. One mistake and it costs us and another little mistake and it just snowballs.”
The Oilers opened the scoring on Nurse’s power-play goal at 9:57 of the first. Nurse’s point shot hit the post, then caromed off the back of Lankinen.
Nashville tied it 25 seconds later, with Forsberg going around the net to beat Campbell to the far post with a wraparound. Defenseman Marc Del Gaizo assisted on the goal in his NHL debut.
Nashville took the lead 23 seconds into the second period, with O’Reilly scoring off a rebound on Forsberg’s shot. The pair padded their totals on a power play three minutes later. Forsberg made a pretty pass through the top of the crease to a wide-open O’Reilly for his second goal of the game.
Hyman got a goal back on a power play at 5:08 of the second. A one-timer from Evan Bouchard ticked off the skate of Hyman and into the net.
Novak restored the Predators’ two-goal edge with 4:45 left in the period. He fought off defenseman Vincent Desharnais on a partial breakaway and beat Campbell high to the stick side for his sixth goal.
O’Reilly scored twice on the same shift midway through the third. He put the puck in on a chip shot from the slot to apparently complete the hat trick. However, a review determined that a shot by O’Reilly in a scramble earlier in the shift had actually crossed the line before being swept out.
“I knew I got a piece of it at the net, but I didn’t hear anything, so I thought, ‘It must not have,’ and everyone kept going,” O’Reilly said. “But you obviously get another chance, it goes in.”
Predators: At Calgary on Tuesday night.
Oilers: At Vancouver on Monday night.