Sharks Pulled Down By Predators 4-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks lost 4-2 to the Nashville Predators at SAP Center Saturday. The loss was the second home game in a row in which the Sharks failed to clinch their 2019 playoff spot. The Predators got goals from Viktor Arvidsson (2), Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons. Juuse Saros made 24 saves in the win, while Martin Jones made 26 saves in the Sharks loss. Sharks goals came from Joe Thornton and Timo Meier.

Nashville scored first and early, just 1:07 into the game. Craig Smith, Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok went into the Sharks zone 3-on-2, with Smith was well away on the right wing and the Sharks defense focussed on Sissons and Jarnkrok. Jarnkrok pulled up at the blue line and made a pass to Smith. Smith carried the puck in and took a shot but it came back out and Sissons had to clean it up.

No one reviewed or challenged the goal, but after his shot Smith did skate into the blue paint and fall backwards over Martin Jones. Jones was certainly prevented from doing anything to stop the Sissons shot.

Micheal Haley and Wayne Simmonds fought at 5:59. The cause of the dispute was unclear, though the invitation came from Haley. Barclay Goodrow took a roughing penalty at the same time, putting the Predators on a power play. That power play did not last long as Ryan Johansen was called for slashing Joe Pavelski less than 20 seconds into it. No goals came from any of that.

The Sharks spent the last couple of minutes of the first evicting the Predators from their territory, but Team Teal did not muster much in the way of offense. An exception was a shift from Logan Couture and Timo Meier that did lead to some shots on Saros.

By the end of the period, the Predators were outshooting the Sharks 14-11. In the face-off circle, the Sharks had improved through the period from winning just 25% early to winning 53% by the first intermission.

The Sharks tied it briefly at 4:09 of the second. Logan Couture made a short backhand pass to Joakim Ryan on the blue line. With Couture slightly screening the shot, Ryan sent it in. Saros stopped it but kicked a rebound out for Joe Pavelski. Pavelski took the shot, which Saros stopped as well, but Meier was there on the other side of the goal mouth to put that rebound away. Assists went ot Pavelski and Ryan.

That tie lasted all of 24 seconds, before Viktor Arvidsson gave Nashville the lead again. Filip Forsberg got an assist.

The Sharks had a power play at 7:09 after Sissons went for slashing Hertl. That power play generated a couple of good chances but no goal for San Jose.

The teams played 4-on-4 after Colton Sissons and Joe Thornton exchanged cross-checks at 12:59 of the second. they played 4-on-4 against at 16:36 after Roman Josi was called for interference against Timo Meier and Meier was called for unsportsmanlike conduct (embellishment?).

During that 4-on-4, Brent Burns joined the rush and received a subtle little pass from Thornton. Burns bulled his way into the zone, but instead of shooting, he veered off at the last and dropped a pass to Thornton, who was in front of the blue paint. Thornton touched the pass just enough to put the puck over Saro’s pad and in the net. The assists went to Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

At the end of the second, with the score tied, the Sharks had taken a small lead in shots 21-20. They slipped a little on the face-off dot, down to 49% after two periods.

7:04 into the third, Filip Forsberg gave the lead back to the Predators. His wrap-around shot went off of Tim Heed’s stick as Heed tried to stop the shot. Martin Jones was a slow getting back across the net after losing his balance on a stop moments before. Assists went to Matt Irwin and Ryan Johansen.

Shortly after the 10-minute mark, Logan Couture and Timo Meier collided and hit each other up high. Couture went to the bench but neither player left the game. Kevin Labanc cross-checked Roman Josi at 11:00, giving the Predators a power play. The Sharks killed that off.

The Sharks pulled Jones for the extra skater with a little more than one minute left in regulation. Nick Bonino quickly intercepted a pass and sent it out. Viktor Arvidsson skated after it to score into that empty net.

The Sharks will next play on Monday, in San Jose, against the Vegas Golden Knights at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose to Predators 5-3, End Point Streak at 9 Games

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-2 to the Nashville Predators Thursday, their second loss in a row on the current road trip. Nashville goals came from Kyle Turris, Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis and Nick Bonino. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Brenden Dillon and Mikkel Boedker. In goal, Nashville’s Juuse Saros made 39 saves for the win, while Martin Jones made 27 saves for the Sharks. The game was whistle-riddled, including a high-pressure penalty shot for the Sharks in the final two minutes of the game. Despite eleven penalties called, neither team scored on the power play.

Thursday’s loss ended the Sharks’ nine-game point streak, but Sharks forward Logan Couture still said: “It was a good game, it was a fun game to be a part of. It was back and forth, I thought it had a lot of grade A looks against a very good defensive team. Their goaltender made some big time saves down the stretch there. But yeah, it was a fun game.”

This was the Sharks’ second loss in a row to Nashville. On February 22, Nashville won 7-1 in San Jose. Of Thursday’s road game, Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said:

They’re the top team in the West and I think we came in and pretty much proved to ourselves that we can hang with them, and not just hang with but play well. I think we deserved better tonight, we had a lot of chances. Their goalie played well, credit to him. But I think we really took a step in our game, coming back in here after the last time.

The first period was thick with scoring. Early in the first period, Kyle Turris gave Nashville their first lead of the game. P.K Subban’s hard shot from the point rebounded off Jones and went right to Turris’ stick. Assists went to Subban and Craig Smith.

Less than two minutes later, Logan Couture tied it. As the puck came to him along the blue line, Brent Burns saw Couture skating through the high slot and hit him with a one-touch pass. Couture carried the puck briefly before taking a wrist shot that beat Saros on the short side. Assists went to Burns and Mikkle Boedker.

Just past the midpoint of the period, Nashville took another lead when Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg turned a blue line giveaway into a two-on-none against Martin Jones. Assists went to Forsberg and Ryan Johansen.

The Sharks tied the game, again less than two minutes later, with a goal from Brenden Dillon. Dillon’s shot found its way through a line of moving traffic, including a couple of Sharks, but touched no one and gave Dillon his fifth of the season. The lone assists went to Jannik Hansen.

The second period saw six penalties and just one goal. Craig Smith scored at 10:38. Kyle Turris carried the puck across both blue lines before dropping it to Ryan Ellis. Ellis took the shot, creating a rebound that Smith picked up as he arrived behind the traffic. Assists went to Turris and Ellis.

Mikkel Boedker tied it up next, at 5:54 of the third period. Just as a Sharks power play ended, several Sharks took shots from in fairly close before the Boedker moved the puck away from the net. He skated across the slot and took a shot from the top of the faceoff crcle. His shot seemed to hit one of the Nashville players in front of the net, then dropped and bounced across the line. Assists went to Chris Tierney and Timo Meier.

Ryan Ellis gave the Predators their final lead at 10:06. Ryan Johansen carried the puck through the neutral zone and handed it off to Viktor Arvidsson. Arvidsson tried to center it but it bounced off a skate and then pinballed off the boards to Ellis high in the slot. His shot caught Jones trying to move across. Assists went to Filip Forsberg and Arvidsson.

The final few minutes to the third period were frenetic. The Sharks had a power play at 16:50 after P.K Subban put the puck over the glass, and before that ended, Ryan Ellis was called for displacing the net. Logan Couture was awarded a penalty shot for the Ellis penalty but he could not beat Saros. The Predators killed off the Subban penalty and got a goal from Nick Bonino in the empty net with 17 seconds left in regulation.

The Sharks are still in second place in the Pacific Division, five points behind the Las Vegas Golden Knights and five points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks next play in Las Vegas on Saturday at 7:30 pm PT.