The San Jose Sharks (27-11-6, 60 points) fell to the Nashville Predators (19-19-6, 44 points) by the final score of 3-2 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The Sharks had trouble generating some sustained offensive pressure all night and in the end it cost them.
This was the first game without yet another player down with an injury, this time Logan Couture, who is out 3-4 weeks with a hand injury. He is the latest in a string of injuries that has recently included Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels who are both currently on injured reserve. At this point it seems like the San Jose Sharks are half the NHL team and half the team from Worcester.
Also, because of the injury the lines were juggled once again. Pretty much all of them were changed except for the first line which has been on fire as of late. That does mean though that the San Jose Sharks are thin up the middle and Patrick Marleau took the place as second-line center. Flanking him were Bracken Kearns and Matt Nieto.
As far as the game goes it was another story of a bad second period which ended up being the Sharks’ demise. In fact the Predators would score all three of their goals in the second period while San Jose would only net one. That goal, which was scored by Joe Pavelski on the power play, made the game 1-1 and at that point things were all knotted up.
But, just 30 seconds later the Predators would answer and take the lead right back on a Mattias Ekholm goal of their own. Nashville’s third goal would come with 8:30 left in the period and that 3-1 score would carry into the intermission.
In the third period San Jose had two opportunities on the power play but could not make good on either chance. They were able to tally one more goal after Antti Niemi was pulled on a Patrick Marleau goal with less than one minute remaining in regulation, but did not leave themselves enough time the get the second one. Even though the San Jose Sharks outshot Nashville 11-5 in that final stanza, they could not pull out the victory.