Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout at SAP Center Saturday. Timo Meier scored to win in the seventh round of the shootout, and Tomas Hertl scored during regulation for the Sharks. Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win, and Juuse Saros made 31 saves for the Predators.
After the game, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said: “This is a good start. I think this was the first game where we felt right from the start no matter what the score was we felt like we were playing our game and we weren’t too worried about what they were doing. We were focused on the things that we needed to do well and I think we did that.”
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “I think 60 minute effort for sure. You know, I thought we handled the adversity of not scoring first even though we were playing well better than we have in the past. Stuck with it, and yeah I think it was our best 60-minute effort.”
Coming into Saturday’s game, Nashville had won 2 of their last 5, with their last game being a 9-4 loss in Colorado. The Sharks had also won 2 of their last five, and had just come off a high-scoring game that they prevailed in 6-5. Tightening defense was clearly a goal for both teams, so it should be no surprise that the game was scoreless through the first period and much of the second. In shots, the teams stayed within three or four, each leading for one period they each had two power plays and no power play goals. The Sharks had the lead in blocked shots and the Predators were doing better in the face-off circle.
Filip Forsberg broke the deadlock at 14:44 of the second. He scored his eighth goal of the season carrying the puck in from the blue line while fending off Erik Karlsson on his right. Despite Karlsson getting a stick in his way, Forsberg put the puck up and over Jones on the short side. Dante Fabbro got the assist for his pass from the Predators’ blue line.
With a little over a minute left in the second period, Dante Fabbro took an Evander Kane shot in the face and had to leave the game. He returned during the third period wearing a face cage.
Tomas Hertl tied it at 5:22 of the third period. He had a shot knocked off his stick during the zone entry but the Sharks retained control of the puck and eventually Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot got to the net and Hertl was there to knock it in. Assists went to Vlasic and Erik Karlsson.
The score remained unchanged through the rest of the period and overtime, including an overtime power play for Nashville.
Before Timo Meier scored to win the shootout for the Sharks, Saros stopped shots from Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, Evander Kane and Brent Burns.
Martin Jones stopped Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis, Filip Forsberg, Kyle Turris, Ryan Johansen, Nick Bonino and Rocco Grimaldi.
The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.