Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season but the Nashville Predators lost a third-period lead for the second straight contest and fell 3-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in the first of a three-game road trip.
After back-to-back victories to open the season, the Predators now have lost three straight, the last two after having held the opposition scoreless through the first 40 minutes. This one was only their second regulation defeat at Edmonton in six years.
Kostitsyn, Nashville’s leading goal scorer last season, made it 1-0 just 1:58 into the second period. Kevin Klein had the lone assist.
That lead stood until early in the third when the Oilers scored twice in a span of 2:02. Taylor Hall tied with a power play goal 22 seconds after Ryan Suter went off for holding, and Ryan Smyth got the game-winner when he got behind the defense and beat goalie Pekka Rinne one-on-one.
Former Predator Ryan Jones put things out of reach with an empty-net goal with 40 seconds remaining. Shawn Horcoff had assists on all three.
Last Saturday at home, Nashville led New Jersey 2-0 after two periods but lost 3-2 in a shootout.
Rinne stopped the first 20 shots he faced as the Predators were outshot for the fifth time in as many contests this season, this time by a count of 25-12. The shot total was lowest thus far and the differential was second only to the last road game, 33-16 at St. Louis on Oct. 8, a game Nashville actually won 4-2.
The trip through Western Canada continues Thursday when Nashville returns to Vancouver, where it was eliminated in the 2011 playoffs.