San Jose Sharks sink Predators in SO 2-1

Photo credit of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

After a close shootout win in Phoenix on Tuesday night, the Predators headed further west into California to take on the San Jose Sharks in the always intimidating Shark Tank. The Predators and the Sharks would only meet four times this season, with San Jose winning two of those wins being in favor of the Predators (the Sharks won the first game of the season against the Predators in Nashville 3-1). The Sharks, who are fighting back the L.A. Kings for the 8th Spot in the Western Conference, were prepared to take out the Predators on their own territory on Thursday night, but would the Predators take the shark bait? Here are the highlights from Thursday’s game in San Jose:

KEY POINTS:

  • Gabriel Bourque, Brian McGrattan, Matt Halischuk, Roman Josi, and Kevin Klein were all scratched for the night, but, even with the possible injuries, none of the fellows above (mainly Josi and Klein) are suspected to be placed on the IR.
  • It took half the period before anyone could seal a goal, but it was Patric Hornqvist who got the ball rolling at 13:18 during the 1st with a wrist shot on the power play for his 22nd goal of the season. Horny was assisted by Mike Fisher (22nd assist) and Martin Erat (36th assist).
  • The Predators head the 1-0 lead over the Sharks’ heads during the 2nd Period, ending the period still on top. Neither team was able to sneak one past either goalie during the 2nd Period.
  • The Sharks attacked as soon as the 3rd Period began, with Joe Thornton sealing a power play goal of his own with only 55 seconds into the period, his 16th goal of the season. The Sharks would fight the Predators off to end the game tied at 1-1, sending the game into overtime.
  • Overtime produced no goals for either team, despite Shea Weber taking a tripping penalty during the overtime.
  • The Predators succeeded in the shootout on Monday night, but could they do the same in San Jose? Here’s the rundown of the shootout:
  1. SAN JOSE – Martin Havlat – SAVE
  2. NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – SAVE
  3. SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski – SAVE
  4. NASHVILLE – Andrei Kostitsyn – SAVE
  5. SAN JOSE – Ryane Clowe – GOAL
  6. NASHVILLE – David Legwand – SAVE
  • Although a tough loss, Pekka Rinne was still on his A-Game, blocking 33 of 35 shots on goal. It was that one flaw in the defensive line that snagged the win for the Sharks during regulation, but it was all up to Peks in the shootout. The Predators also made took some silly penalties, giving up one goal during five power play chances. Here are the five penalty-takers:
  1. Andrei Kostitsyn – 1st Period 14:28 – Slashing
  2. Paul Gaustad – 2nd Period 15:43 – Roughing
  3. David Legwand – 2nd Period 19:49 – Interference
  4. Andrei Kostitsyn – 3rd Period 4:47 – Hi-Sticking
  5. Shea Weber – Overtime 4:56 – Tripping

The Predators luckily did not leave San Jose empty handed, tucking tail and heading South to Los Angeles with one point under their belts. Unfortunately, the Predators lost more than just the extra point that came with the win, as Paul Gaustad fell on his wrist during the third period, leaving the game with an upper body injury. If this turns out to be more than just a little awkward fall, Gaustad’s absence could be a huge hole in the Predators line.

The Predators continue their Western trek in L.A. on Saturday, then finishing up with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday evening. Will Hollywood be kind to the Nashville kiddos? The puck drops at 9:30PM on Saturday.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

San Jose no Match for Predators, Nashville Wins 6-2

The Predators come out looking like a new team against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

After a tough loss on Thursday, the Predators needed a good game against Conference rivals, the San Jose Sharks last night to get the momentum going again. Last night’s game was more than just good, it was played by a Predators team that needs to come out more often. A ton of changes came about this week with the Predators, but the chemistry amongst the players last night was incredible. Here are the highlights from last night’s win in the Music City:

BUSY TWO DAYS FOR NASHVILLE:

  • Before getting to last night’s game, there was an interesting and surprising trade on Friday between the Predators and the Florida Panthers. Veteran Predator Jerred Smithson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th Round Pick in this year’s NHL Draft. It was pretty clear no Predators fan saw this one coming. Although we are sad to lose such a key player, we are happy that Smithson will have more playing time and opportunity with Florida. We wish him the best with the Panthers!
  • Also on Friday, though not as surprising, rookie sensation Ryan Ellis was sent back to Milwaukee to play a few games with the Admirals. Trotz had said it had nothing to do with his performance, just needed the space for the newly acquired Hal Gill and to get Jack Hillen some ice time. Ryan Ellis will more than likely be back with the Predators soon.
  • Yet another surprising move by the Predators, Nashville presented a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a certain key player, Rick Nash. The Predators offered up Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Teemu Laakso and a first round pick for the Blue Jackets’ captain, but CJB has stated that they did not want to trade Nash to a rival Central Division team. As such, CBJ and Nash have not agreed nor denied Nashville’s trade offer, so we will keep you up-to-date with this information as it comes.

ON TO THE GAME:

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup last night after spending a few games on the IR. Brian McGrattan was still missing from the ice, along with Jack Hillen.
  • The Predators wasted no time getting the ball rolling, with Colin Wilson scoring his 14th goal of the season with a wrist shot past Thomas Greiss. Assisted only by Jordin Tootoo, was this Wilson’s way of saying he doesn’t want to leave Nashville? Or was this proving to CBJ how good he is?
  • Shea Weber capitalized on Wilson’s goal by scoring one of his own at 3:23, his 13th goal of the season. Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn picked up the assists on Weber’s goal.
  • San Jose would finally make an appearance at 10:58 with a wrist shot by Patrick Marleau, his 26th goal of the season.
  • Kevin Klein would silence Marleau’s goal at five minutes later at 15:58 with a snap shot of his own for his 4th goal of the season. It was thought to be Patric Hornqvist’s goal, but inevitably given to Klein. Roman Josi and Mike Fisher picked up the assists.
  • Brandon Yip dropped the gloves with Tommy Wingels for his first fight in a Predators sweater. Yip got a few good punches in, but Wingels was able to throw Brandon to the ground. Here’s the video from the elbow throws:
  • San Jose surprised Nashville by scoring 23 seconds into the 2nd with a goal from Joe Pavelski for his 23rd goal of the season.
  • Shea Weber picked up his second goal of the night at 12:04 on the powerplay with his signature slap shot, picking up his 14th goal of the season. David Legwand and Ryan Suter both picked up the assists from Weber’s goal.
  • The third period belong to Nashville, with an empty-netter at 18:00 by Martin Erat for his 14th goal of the season. We need to send out a congratulations to both Erat and his wife with the birth of a baby boy! Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi picked up the assists on Erat’s empty-netter.
  • Nick Spaling added salt to San Jose’s wound at 19:18 with a snap shot to seal the game, his tenth goal of the season. Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson picked up the assists.
  • The Predators prove why they are 1st in the league with this particular stat: The Predators were out-shot 34 to 21, yet still managed to beat the Sharks 6-2 in regulation.
  • The Predators not only won the game, but also won their 17th sellout of this season. The Predators are expected to surpass 20 sellouts, a record that was set back in the 1999-2000 season.
  • The Predators faced quite a few penalties last night, but were able to capitalize on one of San Jose’s misfortunes. The Sharks, although given four chances on the power play, were not able to sneak a goal passed Pekka to score. Here are the four Preds who took some time in the penalty box:
  1. Brandon Yip – 17:22 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Hal Gill – 13:22 2nd Period – Tripping
  3. Roman Josi – 3:28 3rd Period – Tripping
  4. Francis Bouillon – 9:39 3rd Period – Tripping

The Predators dominated the San Jose Sharks with a kind of momentum they should have brought against St. Louis on Thursday night. With this win, the Predators are now 36-19-7 on the season and expect to be 37-19-7 on Monday with a hopeful win over the L.A. Kings.

With the NHL Trade Deadline looming overhead, will CBJ accept the potential trade offer from the Predators? Personally, it makes us nervous. Although Nash is a big contender in the NHL and would be a great gain for the Predators, the loss of three players (and a 1st round pick) for just one could be a risk, costly move for the Predators (resulting in the loss of Ryan Suter and/or Shea Weber in the end). However, as stated before, CBJ is not looking to trade within the division, but if no other good offers are made, Columbus may just take the bait.

The Predators welcome the L.A. Kings tomorrow for a rare Monday night game, then Nashville is off to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Until then,
GO PREDS.