In another hard fought battle that went to overtime between the Nashville Predators (6-3-4) and the San Jose Sharks (7-3-3) it was the Predators who came out on top in overtime by the final score of 1-0.
As I predicted it was another goaltender duel, but unfortunately the Sharks were once again on the wrong side of the win-loss column.
Pekka Rinne was fantastic again against the Sharks with 25 saves. Niemi equalled him with 22 saves and a few great ones as well until Nashville scored in overtime.
Inserted into the lineup today for San Jose was AHL call-up from the Worcester Sharks Tim Kennedy who so far this season has 13 goals and 24 assists for a total of 37 points including a +8 rating. He leads the team in all of these stats and this evening was placed on the second line with Couture and Clowe.
Also notable was Martin Havlat be relegated to fourth line duties.
With Kennedy coming in that means someone had to get scratched, and that was Scott Gomez, San Jose’s big free agent signing at the beginning of the season that has yet to pay off.
Also not in the lineup were Brent Burns (I’m assuming the coaching staff wanted to ease him into playing shape and did not want to play him on back-to-back games) and Andrew Desjardins who was placed in injured reserve.
The Sharks came out strong in the first period outshooting the Predators 13-2 but were unable to score. Pekka Rinne continues to be dominant in net and was the difference in that first period. He made a great save on a two-on-one chance for the Sharks when Couture fed a nice pass across the slot to Kennedy who could not put the puck past Rinne.
During the second period the Sharks earned four minutes of power play time after a double-minor high-sticking penalty against Erat but committed a penalty of their own to cut their power play time to just two minutes after playing four-on-four for two minutes. They were unable to capitalize. In fact the Sharks were unable to score on a two-man advantage later on in the period and ended up going 0 for 4 and half a power play that will carry on into the third period.
Aside from those power plays the Predators seemed to get the better of the Sharks outshooting them 11-6 and forcing Antti Niemi to make a couple of very good saves to match Rinne and keep the score even at zero end the end of the period.
The Sharks started the third period with about 40 seconds left on their power play but could not get anything going. They did however seem to gain some some momentum and came out with a little bit of jump in their step.
Nashville then turned up the heat and took over in the last half of the period as it looked like the Sharks’ legs seemed to be getting weary since they are playing the second game of a back-to-back. Niemi was forced to make a few great saves before the game went into overtime yet again for these two clubs.
It was a back and forth affair in overtime with the Predators and the Sharks making for an exciting overtime but in the end it was Colin Wilson for Nashville who ended it after a great chance at the other end by Boyle.
The Nashville win means San Jose has now lost six games in a row. It was also a great game again for Niemi, though he did so in a losing effort. San Jose’s next game is in Chicago on Friday against the Blackhawks.
My 3 Stars
1. Pekka Rinne (25 saves, shutout)
2. Colin Wilson (game-winning OT goal)
3. Antti Niemi (22 saves)