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Nashville Predators 3, San Jose Sharks 1: Hey, Remember James Neal?

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The Preds close out their California road trip with 4 of a possible 6 points, not bad.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are two teams that play each other guns-a-blazing, every time. Nashville surely has a bad taste in their mouths considering what happened to them when they were in San Jose last year for game seven.

We’re only six minutes into the game and Paul Martin puts the Sharks up 1-0, on a feed from Joe Thornton. I’ve got to be honest, the Preds aren’t looking so hot right now. They really are limping through this road trip. Whoa, did Ryan Johansen just score? Yes he did, and the Preds have tied it up.

Nashville really needs a goal in this second period, which has traditionally been their best period this year. James Neal must have heard me, because he takes a beautiful pass from Colin Wilson and buries it past Martin Jones for the 2-1 lead. Playoff Colin Wilson makes the rare regular-season appearance. Austin Watson and Brendon Dillon dropping the glove. That’s Watson’s 12th fight this year. He’s like a more offensively skilled Rich Clune.

Sharks playing the third period with a bit more desperation but Nashville is hanging on. Viktor Arvidsson nets his 24th goal of the season on a short-handed empty netter. The Preds finally get a win, and four out of six points on this trip doesn’t look that bad in the scheme of things.

Random Observations

  • We have a P.A. Parenteau sighting!
  • Why does Fiala keep getting scratched? Do you not like offense, Laviolette?
  • Boo. The Sharks scored first. Although, we aren’t really surprised anymore, are we?
  • Hey, what do you know, Joey scored!
  • James Neal does remember how to hockey.
  • Colin Wilson is the most frustrating member of this team. Theres flashes where you understand why he was a first-round pick. But there’s also flashes, and more of them, where you wonder how he has a spot on this team.
  • Brent Burns is a large, large man
  • How good has Ryan Ellis been this season?
  • Saros looks like he’s in playoff form
  • The irony of Arvidsson scoring a shorty

OFT’s Super Duper Stars of the Night

  1. Juuse Saros - this kid is ridiculous. He had a .962 save percentage against the Sharks...the Sharks! He will surely pay dividends come playoff time.
  2. Ryan Johansen - only his 11th goal of the year, and sometimes it’s hard to remember he’s a former 30-goal scorer
  3. James Neal - he finally scored a goal. Let’s hope he pulls a Forsberg and follows it up with about 9 more over the next few games.

Tweets of the Night

Game Video

Ryan Johansen ties it 1-1

Colin Wilson feeds James Neal to put the Preds up 2-1:

Arvidsson buries an empty-netter to put the Preds up 3-1