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Predators 4, Sharks 2: Sharks fall prey to Nashville

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Viktor Arvidsson took two bites out of the Sharks

NHL: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks failed to clinch a playoff spot or regain first place in the Western Conference for the second game in a row, after falling to the Predators, 4-2.

The Sharks allowed the first and last goals of the night, but showed fight between those two markers. It was an improvement from Thursday against Florida, and the minimum goal every game is constant improvement, right?

The Predators scored just over a minute in and held that lead into the first intermission. Midway through the first period, Joe Pavelski left the ice with an apparent injury. The broadcast suggested it could have been the concussion spotter who decided to hold out Pavelski. Whatever happed must have been minor, as he returned later in the period and played the rest of the game, including nearly potting the tying goal late in the third.

Timo Meier tied the game early in the second period on a slick feed from the aforementioned Pavelski. That lasted all of 24 seconds, which isn’t ideal to say the least. Viktor Arvidsson deflected a shot in front of the net that got through Jones. It was the most disappointing moment of the night for me, because I was still in the process of updating the Sharks goal.

Joe Thornton got angry at Colton Sissons later in the second and took it out on the back of Juuse Saros’ net to tie the game. That goal was Thornton’s 15th tally of the season and the even score held through the second intermission. Being tied at intermission is better than being behind at intermission, so the Sharks were in an alright place.

In the third period, Martin Jones decided that way outside the crease was a good place to be a goalie, and inevitably allowed a wraparound goal. Jones is known to be subpar when moving laterally, so committing very hard to one side of the net was a bad idea. Arvidsson eventually scored his second of the game on an empty net to guarantee the Nashville win.

Joonas Donskoi wasn’t allowed to play on his own bobblehead giveaway night, which is just mean.

Another game, another try on Monday at 7:30 PST against the Vegas Golden Knights.


First Period

18:53: A missed chance by the Sharks leads to a Predators goal. Also what was Joakim Ryan doing? Shoving a man into Jones hinders Jones from doing his job. Especially when there’s a player sitting right outside the crease.

17:00: Sharks getting an early power play chance.

14:01: Michael Haley and Wayne Simmonds fight. I’m not sure why, but since I’m currently in Philadelphia I guess I can’t be averse to seeing Simmonds fight. Barclay Goodrow will also sit for roughing, so the Sharks will have to penalty kill.

13:44: Ryan Johansen slashes Joe Pavelski and we’re at four-on-four.

9:07: Where’s Pavelski? He hasn’t been on the ice with his line for the last few shifts. NBCS California reminds the viewer that concussion spotters are in every rink. Let’s hope the maintenance is more minor.

4:24: We have a confirmed Pavelski sighting on the ice. He’s not badly hurt.

END FIRST: Sharks 0, Predators 1

The period ends with an intense last 30 seconds, but no change in score since the early minutes of play.

Aside from the Predators’ early goal, things looked pretty evenly matched to me...similar number of rushes for each team, at least.

The Hertl line has shown a lot of energy so far.

The fact that Pavelski isn’t hurt is a huge benefit to the Sharks. Hopefully the 15-minute break can get rid of any lingering aches.

Second Period

15:51: What time is it? I think it’s Timo Time. Joe Pavelski is obviously uninjured enough to dish a sweet pass across the front of the crease through defenders. He gave Meier an easy job to finish.

15:27: Filip Forsberg flung a puck at the net, and Viktor Arvidsson deflects it past Martin Jones. The tie didn’t last long.

12:51: The Sharks will have to kill a penalty after these messages...No they’re on the power play. Thanks NBCS California.

10:20: So the most exciting part of that power play was when Martin Jones did something real silly. That’s not how you have a successful power play.

7:01: Joe Thornton is cranky with Colton Sissons. Both get sent to the penalty box.

3:24: Now the Swiss representatives of each team are sent off. More four-on-four.

2:24: Jumbo ties the game! His beard buddy Brent Burns pushed up the ice to receive Thornton’s pass, then sent it right back as Thornton crashed the net.

END SECOND: Sharks 2, Predators 2

That period was better than the last one. One step forward...hopefully another step forward follows it.

Pavelski proved he isn’t badly injured, Thornton is involved, Hertl’s line has still looked great.

I can honestly see the play of the goalies pushing this game one way or another. There’s been a lot of action in front of both nets.

Third Period

12:56: Well the Predators scored on a wraparound. Martin Jones committed himself too far to one side and couldn’t push back to the other post. Filip Forsberg gets credit for the goal.

9:24: Logan Couture and Timo Meier hit each other so hard the linesmen wanted to check on them.

9:00: Kevin, no! Kevin Labanc goes to the box for a cross-check.

1:40: The Sharks put Joe Pavelski, who is not injured, on after pulling Martin Jones.

1:06: Brent Burns attempts to keep the puck in the zone, but causes it to bounce right to the Preds. Viktor Arvidsson gets his second goal of the game.

FINAL SCORE: Sharks 2, Predators 4


Pregame

The final matchup of the regular season between the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks will get going tonight at the Tank. Both the Sharks and the Predators are looking to assert dominance in their respective divisions, with both teams sitting one point behind the Calgary Flames, and the Winnipeg Jets, respectively.

Even though these two teams seem similar in the standings, the opposite could be said for their current play. While the Sharks have been downright dominating in their last 10 games, going 7-3-0, the Predators have been fairly average, if not unimpressive, going 5-5-0. Their most recent win came on Thursday on the road against the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 3-1 (but let’s face it, that’s not hard to do).

The Sharks get some reinforcements on the offensive front, as Evander Kane will make his return to the Sharks lineup. Unfortunately, it appears as if this will push Joonas Donskoi out of the lineup, for some reason. Time will tell if this is a move to just let Donskoi get his mojo back, or if head coach Peter DeBoer just likes Micheal Haley that much.

The Predators, meanwhile, will be without the likes of Dan Hamhuis, Miikka Salomaki and noted hockey player Zac Rinaldo tonight, as they are all on Injured Reserve. Kyle Turris was a surprise scratch Thursday night against the Kings and he might be sitting in the press box again tonight.

Lines

Sharks

Expected Scratches: Joonas Donskoi (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Radim Simek (knee), Erik Karlsson (groin)

Predators

Filip ForsbergRyan JohansenViktor Arvidsson
Mikael GranlundNick BoninoWayne Simmonds
Calle JarnkrokColton SissonsCraig Smith
Brian BoyleFrederick GaudreauRocco Grimaldi

Roman JosiRyan Ellis
Mattias EkholmP.K. Subban
Matt IrwinYannick Weber

Juuse Saros
Pekka Rinne

Expected Scratches: Cody McLeod, Kyle Turris, Matt Donovan (healthy)

Injured Reserve: Zac Rinaldo (shoulder), Dan Hamhuis (leg), Miikka Salomaki (upper body)

Suspended: Austin Watson

Where to Watch

Puck drop from SAP Center is at 7:30 p.m. Pacific/10:30 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area market and on Fox Sports Tennessee in the Nashville market. Of course, if listening to the game is more of your cup of tea or you can’t make it to a TV, radio streaming will be available on 98.5 KFOX and the Sharks app.