Rinne makes 31 stops as Nashville Predators blank Edmonton Oilers 2-0

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne made 31 saves to help the Nashville Predators beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Saturday night.

Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville, which also won its season opener against Carolina on Thursday. It was Rinne’s 37th career shutout.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, played 18 1/2 minutes and had two shots on goal. He struggled again on faceoffs, winning only two of 11. On Thursday night in his NHL debut, won three of 13 faceoff in a loss at St. Louis.

Playing in his 382nd career NHL game, Rinne tied Tomas Vokoun’s franchise record for appearances by a goaltender. Nashville drafted Rinne with the 258th pick in the 2004 draft.

Rinne holds the franchise record for wins and shutouts.

Smith put Nashville in front at 18:52 of the second period.

Edmonton’s Andrej Sekera had the puck just inside the Nashville blue line and was checked by Mike Fisher. Colin Wilson grabbed the puck and was away on a 2-on-1 with Smith. From the left side, Wilson slid a pass to Smith in the lower part of the right circle, and he beat goaltender Cam Talbot with a wrist shot just underneath the crossbar.

Smith has a goal in each of Nashville’s first two games this season.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins appeared to tie the game at 6:07 of the third, but a video review confirmed the on-ice call of no goal due to his directing the puck into the net with a distinct kicking motion.

Forsberg added an insurance goal at 13:02 of the third.

Edmonton defenceman Andrew Ference turned the puck over behind the Oilers net, and Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro passed to Forsberg coming through the slot, where he beat Talbot for his first of the season.

NOTES: Nashville won each of its three games against Edmonton last season. … Saturday marked the 17th anniversary of the first regular-season game played by the Predators. … Edmonton has scored just one goal in its first two games this season.

The Associated Press




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