Pekka Rinne made 28 saves, and four Predators picked up at least two points as Nashville dominated the Sharks, 6-2. San Jose has now lost two of its three games since the All-Star break.
The Sharks controlled play for the game's first 13:12, generating numerous chances to take a 1-0 lead, including an early power play. But, that changed as James Neal opened the scoring with 6:48 left in the first period. Neal powered in a one-timer off of a beautiful back-handed pass from Ryan Johansen behind the net.
Neal goal pic.twitter.com/uqx9X0AiYX— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 7, 2016
Neal's goal energized the Predators, who held the Sharks to just two shots on goal for the remainder of the period. Nashville didn't sustain that defensive effort in the early part of the second, but did get the game's second goal 6:26 in to the second period. James Neal forced a Vlasic turnover, as Ryan Johansen intercepted the errant pass and hit Calle Jarnkrok for a one-timer in the slot. Jones got a piece, but Jarnkrok's shot knuckled past him.
Jankrok goal pic.twitter.com/QHj57aOcWU— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 7, 2016
After failing to score on their first two opportunities, the Sharks finally converted on their third power play. Joe Thornton corralled a loose puck at the side of the net with 4:19 left in the middle frame, cutting the lead to one and becoming the third player in franchise history to score 200 goals.
90 seconds later, Nashville's lead doubled its lead as Martin Jones was beat glove side once again. Viktor Arvidsson roofed one past Jones' short side, as Arvidsson was falling to his knees.
In the third, San Jose once again had an opportunity to cut into Nashville's lead with a power play. But, the Predators took advantage of a fortunate bounce on a clearing attempt, as the puck bounced directly off of the boards into the path of Filip Forsberg. Forsberg held for a shot on the impending 3-on-1, firing one past Jones' blocker to extend Nashville's lead to three with 13:09 left in the third.
Forsberg goal pic.twitter.com/RXcxbL5k4j— Stephanie (@myregularface) February 7, 2016
Forsberg picked up his second point of the night and put the game away on another odd-man rush under two minutes later, assisting on Viktor Arviddson's goal of the night as the Predators took a 5-1 lead. Logan Couture added a power play goal with 6:23 left in regulation, but Shea Weber's empty-netter put Nashville up 6-2 just under two minutes later.
Sharks goals: Thornton [PP] (Vlasic, Couture); Couture [PP] (Thornton, Demelo)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Pekka Rinne
2) Ryan Johansen
3) Filip Forsberg