Late San Jose goal spoils fine effort by Nashville in 4-3 loss

Despite the skaters playing one of their best games of the season, the Nashville Predators left San Jose empty-handed after Dan Boyle scored with a minute remaining to give the Sharks a 4-3 win in regulation time. This came after the Preds fought back to tie the game twice, and took the lead midway through the 3rd period.

Video highlights, commentary, and advanced even strength stats follow after the jump. As usual, you can click through the picture above for more photos from the game.

The encouraging sign to take from this game was that the Preds displayed a classic, workmanlike effort to hang even with the Sharks for all 60 minutes, and continued going hard to the front of the net to create goals (Santorelli's and Hornqvist's in particular). Unfortunately, the two goals allowed by Dan Ellis in the 3rd were pretty soft, and that made the difference. Just by his reaction after the Boyle goal, you could tell that Ellis knew he should have had it.

The power play was a disappointment once again for Nashville, as two opportunities went by with only 3 shots fired and no goals. The Preds did kill off San Jose's single power play, however. On the faceoff dot, the Sharks dominated the Predators 32-21.

As far as the Even Strength numbers below, my main comment here would be that Jordin Tootoo definitely stood out as having an off night, as he just didn't seem strong on the puck on a number of occasions. The Sullivan-Arnott-Hornqvist line did manage to push the play forward consistently, but couldn't cash in enough to earn the win tonight.

One other point I've noticed is that the defense pairing of Francis Bouillon and Kevin Klein is really starting to click; through the first two periods they were leading the team in ice time by a healthy margin, as Barry Trotz kept Ryan Suter and Shea Weber in reserve for heavy work in the third. Cody Franson, while getting more limited ice time, is performing well within his role and added another assist tonight.

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 Jason Arnott C 17:26 2 1 3 0 10 10 0 23 17 6
 Steve Sullivan L 16:38 3 0 1 1 11 9 2 20 17 3
 Patric Hornqvist R 16:55 4 1 0 1 11 9 2 21 17 4
 Michael Santorelli C 10:42 1 0 0 1 3 4 -1 5 7 -2
 Jerred Smithson R 15:14 0 1 0 0 3 9 -6 9 14 -5
 Joel Ward R 14:58 1 2 1 0 5 10 -5 11 15 -4
 Martin Erat R 12:24 1 0 0 0 5 2 3 12 7 5
 David Legwand C 16:40 1 0 0 0 5 8 -3 13 14 -1
 Andreas Thuresson R 10:56 0 0 1 0 4 2 2 7 4 3
 Marcel Goc C 10:02 2 0 0 0 5 4 1 9 13 -4
 Jordin Tootoo R 10:12 1 0 1 1 3 5 -2 5 14 -9
 Dave Scatchard C 10:09 2 0 1 0 6 6 0 9 13 -4
 Shea Weber D 19:51 0 1 2 0 7 8 -1 17 18 -1
 Ryan Suter D 19:57 1 0 2 1 9 9 0 20 19 1
 Kevin Klein D 20:31 0 0 0 3 6 13 -7 13 21 -8
 Francis Bouillon D 18:45 0 0 3 0 7 11 -4 16 20 -4
 Dan Hamhuis D 16:56 1 0 1 1 9 7 2 15 14 1
 Cody Franson D 12:12 0 2 0 2 8 4 4 13 11 2
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