Sharks Fall to Predators 5-2 in Nashville

mercurynews.com photo

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-2 to the Nashville Predators Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville goals came from Roman Josi (2), Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg and Dante Fabbro. Pekka Rinne made 33 saves for the win. Evander Kane and Brent Burns scored for San Jose, while Martin Jones made 20 saves in the loss. The Sharks are still looking for a win this season after four losses.

The only first period goal went to Nashville, at 6:16. Roman Josi scored after making a neutral zone pass to Colton Sissons, who carried the puck into the zone and then passed it back and into the slot. Josi was there to put it away. Assists went to Sissons and Ryan Ellis.

There was just one power play in the first period, a penalty to the Sharks’ Evander Kane for interference. The Predators outshot the Sharks 9-7 in the first.

In the second period, Josi scored again on a mid-period power play. Brenden Dillon was in the box for slashing Filip Forsberg at 9:40. A pass from the corner found Forsberg wide open in the faceoff circle, but his shot went off the post and bounced into the blue paint, where Marc-Edouard Vlasic swept it away, into the slot. Josi was there to shoot it back in for the goal.

The Sharks got their own power play goal at 15:12. Matt Duchene was called for interference on Kevin Labanc. A quick play off the faceoff moved the puck to Burns at the point. He moved along the blue line as if to pass ahead, then moved the puck back to Logan Couture, who took a shot from the point. Evander Kane tipped it in for his first of the year. Assists went to Couture and Burns.

The Sharks killed two of three penalties in the second period, and Nashville did the same. The Sharks outshot the Predators 18-7 in the period.

The Sharks started the third period with some good chances, but it was Nashville who scored at 2:51. A neutral zone breakdown allowed Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok to go in two on one. Turris took the shot to give Nashvillea 3-1 lead. Rocco Grimaldi got the assist.

Nashville made it 4-1 at 7:24. Matt Duchene followed the puck down the slot and made a quick backhand pass across to Forsberg on the wing. Forsberg took the shot and beat Jones on the stick side as he came across. Assists went to Duchene and Mikael Granlund.

Brent Burns got one back for the Sharks at 15:37. The Sharks drew all of the Nashville defense off to one side with their forecheck. The puck slipped out across the ice, where Burns picked it up and shot it in with a hard wrist shot. Assists went to Lean Bergmann and Dylan Gambrell.

Dante Fabbro made it 5-2 with a shot all the way down the ice, in an empty net at 18:19. An assist went to Ryan Johansen.

The Sharks outshot the Predators 10-9 in the third, 35-25 in the game.

The Sharks next play against the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday at 5:30 PM PT.

Sharks Rally Comes Up Short, Lose 3-2 To Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 14: Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks watches the replay of a goal against him by Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on December 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 14: Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks watches the replay of a goal against him by Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on December 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

NASHVILLE -The red hot Nashville Predators (16-14-3) wont their third straight game and beat the San Jose Sharks (20-7-6), 3-2. San Jose is now 1-4-1 in their last six games and have only scored 11 goals. Dan Boyle scored his sixth goal of the year and Antti Niemi stopped 20 of 23 for his fifth loss of the year.

“We weren’t nearly aggressive enough,” said San Jose coach Todd McLellan. “It’s amazing, in the third when we played on the inside a little bit more, we got more second chances, kept the forecheck alive, we were a much different team. I’m a bit disappointed in the first period and a half to two periods.”

Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley got the Predators on the board at 16:01 of the first period when he shot a wicked wrister at the net from just above the left circle and beat Niemi. The Predators connected on their first power play of the night after when Nick Spaling won the puck along the boards and got it over to Craig Smith behind the net. Smith found defenseman Roman Josi streaking in and Josi’s wrist shot beat Antti Niemi to the glove side to give Nashville the 2-0 lead.

The Sharks finally got in the scoring column in the third when Sharks center Patrick Marleau won the puck behind the net and found Matt Irwin high in the slot. Dan Boyle deflected Irwin’s shot between Hutton’s legs and made it 2-1.  The Predators Viktor Stalberg made it 3-1 with 2:39 left when he beat Niemi low to the glove side on a 2-on-1 breakaway.  The Sharks pulled Niemi and with the extra man, Markeau redirected a pass from Dan Boyle and got it past Hutton with 54.6 seconds left and brought it to a final score of 3-2.

“Every game we play it seems the team that wins the special teams play, wins the game,” San Jose’s Joe Thornton said. “Tonight they got the one power-play goal and we didn’t, and that’s basically what the NHL comes down to right now, who is better on special teams.”

Logan Couture echoed, “We have to be better on the road. We know how big points are right now. It’s a tough loss.”

The Sharks hope to get back in the win column when they head to St. Louis for an evening game this Tuesday at 8PM EST.