San Jose Sharks Saturday game report: Sharks drop sixth straight to Nashville; Couture injured hit with puck in face

March 26, 2017

NHL, San Jose Sharks

March 25, 2017 Nashville Predators right wing James Neal (18) scores on a shot on goal during 3rd period of a NHL match between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee.Steve Roberts /Cal Sport Media (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By Barbara Mason

What are the San Jose Sharks to do? It was not too long ago that San Jose had a nice point lead in their division which they have watched dissolve they dropped a 7-2 decision to the Nashville Predators Saturday . They now stand tied with the Anaheim Ducks for first place but their losing streak is what is bothersome. Six losses in a row is not what the team needs heading into April and the post-season. A win against the Nashville Predators would go a very long way towards establishing some much needed confidence for the team. The Sharks are playing on the road against Nashville but they have proven that they can indeed win wherever they are playing. This is a pivotal game for the Sharks, one that they have to win. Six loses in a row would be a disaster. The Predators are fighting for their playoff lives and so they will be coming into this game looking to hand a 6th loss to the Sharks.

It wasn’t the kind of start that San Jose was hoping for. Nashville took the early lead at 4:14 off the stick of Colton Sissons for his 7th goal of the season. Craig Smith and Colin Wilson assisted on the goal for the 1-0 lead. At 15:19 the Predators would strike again when Cody McLeod found the net for his 5th goal of the season giving his team a 2-0 lead. The first period would come to an end with Nashville leading 2-0

San Jose would finally get on the board at 4:24 scoring a power play goal courtesy of Patrick Marleau for his 26th goal of the season assisted by Brent Burns and Joe Thornton. When it seemed as it things were looking up for San Jose, Nashville would come right back with a power play goal of their own at 4:48 restoring their two goal lead. Tempers begin to flare with regularity in the second period more than likely out of frustration. The Sharks were struggling to find answers. One thing that was very apparent was the need for every line to contribute. At 14:39, despite a coaches challenge of goalie interference, the Predators scored to go ahead 4-1. P.K. Subban would score his 9th goal of the season and the Sharks were in deep trouble. At 16:19 Justin Braun would cut into the Predators lead scoring his fourth goal of the season. He was unassisted. With 13.6 seconds left in the period Logan Couture would rush to the locker room after taking a deflected shot to the mouth. The score at the break was 4-2.

As the third period got underway there was no sign of Couture as line adjustments were made. It wouldn’t get any better for the Sharks. Nashville would score their 5th goal of the game at 5:27. Colton Sissons would score his second goal in the game and his 8th of the season. Fighting for a wild card, the Predators came to play as evidenced by the 5-2 lead. With 2:59 remaining in the game Nashville’s James Neal would add insult to injury with his 23rd goal of the season. The pelting would continue as Nashville scored a short-handed goal with less than a minute left in the game. The final was 7-2 and San Jose had a six game losing streak the likes that have not been seen since the 2011 season.

And so the Sharks misery continues. One thing that is noticeable is that a lot of the younger players are just not contributing. This team’s confidence is fragile at best. Fighting for home ice in the playoffs, San Jose has to find a way to break this streak. Hopefully coming home to SAP and playing in front of the home crowd will snap this trend. They will take on the Rangers tuesday night. The puck drops at 7:30.

 

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