The San Jose Sharks (10-6-4) defeated the Nashville Predators (9-8-5) by the final of 2-1 at the HP Pavillion behind two-assist nights from Thornton and Couture.
The Sharks got great games from some of their big players and looked very good, especially in the first two periods. I would have liked to see them close a bit better and gain Antti Niemi a much deserved shutout, but the win will do just fine.
This marks San Jose’s second win in their last three games and third straight game earning at least a point. It seems the homestand has done them some good.
The power play was also key for the Sharks going 2-4 and giving them the ability to finally defeat the pesky Pekka Rinne.
Throughout the first period the Sharks were definitely the more dominant team, and it showed in the shot differential which was 16-6. The team looked good early but it still seemed like Pekka Rinne was going to get the better of them. It was not until San Jose got its second power play of the period, and the game, that it found the back of the net. The goal was by Dan Boyle who fired a one-timer passed Rinne. Give credit to Joe Pavelski on the play who was right in front providing the screen.
In the second, San Jose was once against dominant and scored on the power play once again. Pavelski was being his usual self in front of the net and scored when he snuck a puck in passed Rinne from behind the net while he was looking for the puck. It was nice to see his hard work being rewarded with a goal. Both Joe Thornton and Logan Couture picked up their second assists in the game as well. By the end of the period the Sharks were up 2-0 and had a 30-12 shot advantage.
The third period was a bit of a different story however as San Jose seemed to take their foot off the pedal. Nashville was unable to break through though despite their change in game. Then, just when the Sharks had a chance to put the nail in the coffin on a power play with about four minutes left in the game, they surrender a short-handed goal to Gabriel Borque after a misplayed puck by San Jose defenseman Matt Irwin led to a breakaway chance. He cut San Jose’s lead in half.
Luckily for San Jose, they were able to quell the rest of the Predator comeback and take the 2-1 victory over Nashville ending the season-series against them with a win.
The Sharks now head on a short two-game road trip to Canada to face the Canucks on Tuesday then the Flames on Wednesday.
My 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (1 goal)
2. Logan Couture (2 assists)
3. Joe Thornton (2 assists)