Yes, Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal for the Edmonton Oilers tonight, and that will certainly be something to watch. But you know what else deserves a mention? That would be the Oilers’ opponent, the Nashville Predators, who’ve won five of their last six while beating some pretty good teams along the way.
How have they done it?
Well, after a shaky start to his NHL career, Preds goalie Marek Mazanec has settled down and managed to up his save percentage to an impressive .935. The 22-year-old earned his second shutout of the season Wednesday versus the Blue Jackets and is giving Nashville the goaltending it needs in Pekka Rinne’s absence.
The Preds are also scoring some goals, with David Legwand, Craig Smith, and Matt Cullen leading the way up front and captain Shea Weber providing offense from the back end.
“I thought guys were pretty committed,” coach Barry Trotz said after the Columbus game, per The Tennessean. “We know we have some ground to make up here.”
Indeed they do. Despite the 10 points they’ve picked up in their last six games, the Preds are still six points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, with four winnable home games coming up — versus Edmonton, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Carolina — they could make up even more ground over the next week.