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.