What Happened Last Night: Nashville Predators @ San Jose Sharks Game 2
Pekka Rinne was good. The offense was good. The chances were good. The scoreboard at the end of the game was not.
The Predators managed to knot things up at 1-1 in the third period, but with under three minutes left in regulation Joe Pavelski lit the lamp to push the Sharks ahead. Just like in Game 1, the Sharks then scored an empty netter that was followed up with a Ryan Johansen goal but it was far too late.
Sharks 3, Preds 2.
Game 2 was without question one of the best games the Predators have played this post season. During 5-on-5 play Nashville posted a Corsi For of 58 while San Jose managed just a 52. The Preds also out shot the Shark by a count of 28-17 during 5-on-5 play, with each team creating 22 scoring chances while the Sharks managed seven high-danger chances compared to six from the Predators.
When it was all said and done, the Predators out shot the Sharks 39-25 on the night and held the advantage in the scoring chance department by a count of 33-29 during all situations. It's also worth noting that Nashville went 0-3 on the power play while the Sharks found the back of the net on the man advantage on their second of two power play opportunities.
The scoring did not get going until late in the second period, but there was plenty of great action beforehand.
At the 6:24 mark of the first frame Roman Josi was was called for a cross check on Chris Tierney, but San Jose was unable to capitalize on the power play chance.
Roman Josi with the crosscheck #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/DK3TUcSO0I— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Things remained physical from that point forward and Ryan Ellis jumped in on the action with a strong hit on Tomas Hertl into the boards. Ellis is 5-foot-10 and 180 lbs, Hertl is 6-foot-2 and weighs 210 lbs.
Ryan Ellis throws Tomas Hertl into the boards #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/0pwWnAzrPr— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
As for the Preds' offense, they created chances for the entirety of the game including this one via Colin Wilson in a dangerous spot. This was just one of Martin Jones' 37 saves.
Wilson with a great chance but Jones is there to make the stop #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/N26PVcWFau— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Then, the best save Pekka Rinne has made in the post season this year happened. With Logan Couture barrelling into the slot and throwing a shot on net, Rinne's initial save is nothing to squander about but he gave up a rebound that bounced directly onto Joonas Donskoi's stick. How a 6-foot-5 human being reacts like this to make this save is simply outrageous.
Real time look at the Pekka Rinne save #Preds: pic.twitter.com/wBivWnTznT— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Pekka Rinne, how about it #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/i6t3PCZ0qr— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Rinne put together some theatrical moves on the save and Roman Josi took note. He decided that if Rinne can show off like that, so could he. Talk about a creativity. And yes, that is Brent Burns defending him on this play.
Roman Josi with a crazy move and scoring chance #Preds: pic.twitter.com/HIHFReOKQT— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Meanwhile, Joe Thornton realized how much higher the Preds' handsomeness/60 numbers were, so he took out his frustrations on the nearest guy.
Thornton and Johansen having some fun out there #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/UJkPyOh0Ax— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Nashville was then hit with a too-many-men on the ice penalty that was served by Viktor Arvidsson. Barrett Jackman took the ice for his shift a few seconds too early with the puck near the bench so Josi decided to hop into the Sharks bench, but despite the heads up move, the refs still caught it. Nice try though, Mr. Josi.
Josi trying to sneak on the Sharks bench to avoid the too many men call last night. Maybe this’ll cheer up ur Monday pic.twitter.com/xLjjYaD8aV— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Just 33 seconds after the Preds were whistled down, the Sharks made them pay and took a 1-0 advantage courtesy of Couture wristing the puck past Rinne who didn't seem to know where the puck was. He made the initial save on the Pavelski shot, but loss track of it from that point.
Couture gives the Sharks a 1-0 advantage on the PP #Preds: pic.twitter.com/kbauxzmm9v— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
The Preds went on their third power play of the night after Brenden Dillon went up high on Johansen. Johansen actually skated towards Dillon on the play to try and draw something from Dillon and it worked. Nashville's power play didn't though.
Dillon penalty on Johansen #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/sEK0LFv54R— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
The best scoring chance on that particular man advantage came via the Sharks. Couture zipped a pass past Ellis in the 2-on-1 rush to former Predator Nick Spaling, but the 27-year-old couldn't put it past Rinne.
Another big Pekka Rinne save, this one while the Preds were on the PP: pic.twitter.com/nroATLi4xw— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Then, with 7:04 left in regulation, Mattias Ekholm scored his third goal of the post season to knot things up at 1's. Check out that wrist shot. Also, can you tell who that is screening Jones on the play? Yes, that would be the smallest man on the ice, Arvidsson. Wilson and Josi each picked up a helper on the tally.
Mattias Ekholm ties it for the #Preds, 1-1 game: pic.twitter.com/bnEDwdnFKi— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Everything seemed great for Nashville. They were pushing and they finally got one past Jones to tie things up. The game had Preds' game winner or overtime written all over it, but the Sharks said no thanks.
Pavelski buried his sixth goal of these playoffs with 2:40 left. Matt Nieto put a shot on net and Rinne made a fine stop, but gave up a rebound to the far side of the crease and Pavelski managed to sneak it past a diving Shea Weber to give San Jose the 2-1 lead.
Pavelski goal puts the Sharks up 2-1: pic.twitter.com/db2mjR8sVq— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
Some barbaric looking man dressed in full San Jose gear then hit the ice to celebrate.
This barbarian on the ice was pumped after the Pavelski goal: pic.twitter.com/ujZnNmJ0Ba— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
That same man with the massive beard put one into the Preds' empty net with 56 ticks left to put the nail in the coffin. Johansen scored his second extremely late goal in as many games, but it was far too late as the Shark grabbed a 3-2 win and 2-0 series lead.
Johansen scores with 3 ticks left #Preds #SJS: pic.twitter.com/3PWUxdYLFA— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 2, 2016
The positives outweigh the negative in this one for Nashville. The biggest negative of course being that they couldn't close out the third by scoring another at the very most or pushing the game to overtime at the very least. The offense was there, the scoring chances were there and going to the box just twice wasn't disastrous from a pure numbers perspective even tho San Jose did score a power play goal.
Johansen and Josi each led the way in the high-danger scoring department with three chances each. Wilson led the Preds' with an individual Corsi For of nine as he continued his strong offensive play to go along with five scoring chances. Craig Smith was also strong as he led all shooters with seven shots on net.
No fault can be handed to Rinne in net either as he made a handful of highlight reel saves. Rinne stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced including six high-danger shots. Both goals he allowed were of the high-danger variety as well.
Nashville must find a way to figure out Jones however as he was unbelievable in goal yet again stopping 37 of 39 shots including 11 (!) high-danger opportunities. Jones has stopped 66 of the 70 shots he has faced from Nashville so far this series.
We do it all again tomorrow night, only this time at 501 Broadway.
Coach Laviolette says tonight's game was the best his team looked since Game 6 vs. ANA. Looking forward to coming home and playing in NSH.— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) May 2, 2016