Nashville Predators 2, San Jose Sharks 5: After A Rough 3rd Period, Sharks Take Game 1

After a strong start to the game by the Predators, the Sharks generate 5 goals in the 3rd period to take Game 1.

In a game that mirrored the pace and style of the game the Preds played on Wednesday night, the Predators were unable to match the result, losing to the Sharks 5-2. The Predators started out just fine, and even out-played the Sharks in the first half of the game. After going up 1-0 though, you saw the same defense-only mentality appear. Against this Sharks team, that wasn't going to work.

Tomas Hertl, Joel Ward, Logan Couture (2) and Tommy Wingels all scored in the 3rd period, with two of those goals coming on the power-play (and two being empty-netters). The Predators began to run out of gas once Hertl scored to tie it up and then the Sharks just took over. Way too much puck possession and way too much room to work. Combine that with some bad penalties and you've got a recipe for a loss to begin this series.

Pekka Rinne wasn't the problem tonight. He finished with 33 saves and was the only Predator that didn't look tired out there. Martin Jones finished with 29 saves, but the Preds didn't make him work too hard for those.

Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen scored for the Predators.

I suppose the only silver lining is that tonight's game still only counts as one loss. Just regroup and get back to the grind on Sunday.

Random Observations

  • Pontus Aberg was called up before the game, but the Preds go with Eric Nystrom in his place. Soooo I guess we will see how that works.
  • The Predators with some nice pressure on San Jose. Some early shot attempts that just barely got deflected. Preds still seem to have some energy left over from Wednesday night.
  • Insane play here: Melker Karlsson gets a breakaway after Filip Forsberg turned the puck over in the offensive zone. Then Anthony Bitetto back-checked his way into everyone, including Rinne. The net is knocked off and they review the play to see if the puck went in. It didn't, but it was close. Think Rinne got a piece of it. And anyway, the net came off... Would have been crazy to call a goal there. Watching the play live, I was sure that Rinne would be hurt, but I guess he is ok.
  • No dice on the first power-play for the Preds, but they definitely had some great chances. After facing the Ducks PK for 7 games, the Sharks PK looks rather pedestrian. There will be more chances on the power-play, for sure.
  • Mike Ruh-beer-oh.
  • Preds out-played the Sharks for most of the 1st period, but the Sharks had better scoring chances. Pavelski couldn't corral the puck on a breakaway and then got stopped on the doorstep by Rinne later in the period. The last 7-8 minutes of the period was wide-open with chances at either end. Preds probably feel ok with a scoreless period, considering that the Sharks could have been up 1-0 or 2-0 very easily.
  • BOOM. Fisher scores on the pee-pee! Like I said, this PK is a much different animal to tame for the Preds. After some great passing by the whole unit, Johansen finds Fisher in the circle and Fisher wrists it by Jones.
  • Oh man. Wilson with a huge chance in the closing seconds of the 2nd period, but Jones makes the stop. Would that Wilson had scored.
  • Preds managed to swallow up more shot attempts by the Sharks in that period, while still maintaining a threatening offensive presence. It's only a matter of time before the Sharks defensemen get greedy and pinch up too far, allowing a scoring chance the other way (like what happened with Wilson at the end).
  • Weak call against Joey early in the 3rd period and Hertl ties the game. Oh boy, here we go. Tough final frame (and more?) to come.
  • Oh my. Pekka with two huge saves following the game-tying goal. Need to weather the storm here for a bit. And then, you know, go score a goal.
  • If you aren't holding onto your butts, you'd better go ahead and hold on to your butts. This game just got next level stupid. Rinne made a stop but the puck came free and stopped, STOPPED, on the goal line by the post. Bitetto rescues the puck and then Forsberg goes the length of the ice, puts on a move and nearly scores.
  • But then Joel Ward scores. Great pass from Donskoi to find Ward down the middle. A deke got Rinne out of the net and Ward puts it in behind him. 2-1 Sharks.
  • Couture scores another power-play goal and it's now 3-1. Time to look ahead to Game 2, probably.
  • Some late goal scoring, but in the end this game is going to the Sharks. The Predators need to find their legs and get back at it on Sunday.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Pekka Rinne: he was on it tonight, coming up huge when the Preds needed him. Really a shame the Preds couldn't dig a win out for him.
  • Mike Fisher: nice snipe on the power-play. Finished with a goal on 3 shots.
  • Ryan Johansen: a late goal and a nice assist on the Fisher goal. He wasn't able to connect with Neal for much of the game though. /

Tweets of the Night

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