SHARKS (27-10-6) at PREDATORS (18-19-6)
Radio: Preds Radio Network Flagship - 102.5-FM The Game Radio Network; Network Affiliates
STORYLINES VS. SAN JOSE
The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks play the second of their three-game season slate on Tuesday night in Nashville. The Preds will travel to SAP Center on April 5, 2014 for the final tilt of the year between these two foes. Nashville has picked up points in 10 of its last 12 games against the Sharks, posting a 7-2-3 record in those games, and is 5-2-1 in the series since the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign. The Preds hold the 15-11-(1)-1 advantage on home ice.
In the first meeting of the season on Dec. 14, Nashville jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first 40 minutes of play on goals from Eric Nystrom and Roman Josi. San Jose would respond in the third, as Dan Boyle cut the margin to 2-1 early on, before Viktor Stalberg opened the gap again with his fourth goal of the season. Patrick Marleau’s extra-attacker goal with 55 seconds remaining got the Sharks back within striking distance, but goaltender Carter Hutton stood tall, stopping 36-of-38 shots to lead Nashville to a 3-2 victory. San Jose’s 20 third-period shots against still stand as a season-high for the Preds.
Paul Gaustad has seen greater goal-scoring success against San Jose than any other NHL team with five goals in 11 career games… Shea Weber has 19 points (5g-14a) in 27 career games against the Sharks, including six points (2g-4a) in his last eight games… Colin Wilson has eight points (4g-4a) in 13 career games against San Jose.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT VS. SAN JOSE
• Matt Cullen scored on his second career penalty shot on Feb. 5, 2009 at San Jose (Nabokov).
• Paul Gaustad last scored multiple goals in a game on Dec. 9, 2010 against San Jose. He also posted a career-high seven shots on goal on Dec. 8, 2007 at San Jose.
• Colin Wilson fired a career-high six shots on goal on Nov. 5, 2011 at San Jose.
WEBER TAKES THE LEAD
With five points (1g-4a) in his last three outings and 15 points (3g-12a) in his last 14 games, Shea Weber has taken over Nashville’s points lead (10g-17a-27pts) and moved into the League’s Top 15 in defensive scoring.
• Nashville’s captain posted an assist on Patric Hornqvist’s power-play goal on Sunday night. That assist was the 200th of his career, moving him into fourth on the Preds all-time assists list. Weber becomes just the fifth Nashville player to post 200 helpers in their career (David Legwand, Martin Erat, Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter).
• Weber is one of just three defensemen to lead their team in scoring (Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL)).
• Weber is tied with Karlsson and Torey Krug (BOS) for the League’s defensive goal-scoring lead (10). Half of Weber’s 10 goals have come in the first period. The Preds are 7-1-2 when their captain finds the back of the net.
• The Sicamous, B.C., native’s 15 power-play points (7g-8a) are good for third among League defensemen (tie), while his seven power-play goals pace all blueliners.
• Weber is fourth in the League in average time on ice this season (26:47) and has played past the half-hour mark on five occasions.
• Weber leads the team and ranks sixth in the League in blocked shots (97), in addition leading the team in hits (94).
FISHER STAYS HOT
Mike Fisher continues to have the hot hand for the Preds, posting 10 points (4g-6a) in his last five games.
• It is the most point-heavy streak of Fisher’s career since Jan. 22-29, 2008, when he posted seven points (2g-5a) in three games.
• Fisher’s goal on Saturday in Florida moved him into second on the team (11), just one behind Craig Smith.
• The Peterborough, Ont., native leads all Preds forwards in ice time (19:00) – more than two minutes higher than the next closest forward (David Legwand, 16:37).
• He also leads club forwards in blocked shots (37) and ranks third in hits (73).
HORNQVIST MOVES UP
Despite having his career-long assist streak of four games (4a) snapped on Sunday night in Carolina, Patric Hornqvist did record a power-play goal to extend his season-long point streak to five-games (2g-4a). With the goal, the Sollentuna, Sweden native moved into a four-way tie for seventh on the club’s all-time goal-scoring list and into lone possession of seventh on the all-time power-play goals list (32). Hornqvist has seven points (2g-5a) in his last eight games, and is tied for third on the team (9g-15a-24pts). Nashville is 7-2-0 when he scores a goal. Hornqvist also leads the team and ranks 19th in the League with 131 shots on goal.
PLAYER QUICK HITS
• With his game-tying goal on Saturday in Florida, Paul Gaustad moved to within one of the 200th point of his career. He has two points (1g-1a) in his last four outings, and six (3g-3a) in his last 13. The Portland, Ore., native has also won 417-of-707 face-offs (59 percent), to rank second in the League in the category (minimum 700 draws).
• Seth Jones has five points (1g-4a) in his last five games, and is tied for 13th among first-year players in points (4g-12a-16pts). The Plano, Texas native ranks second in time on ice (20:58), fourth in blocked shots (60), sixth in power-play points (6), eighth in even-strength assists and ninth power-play goals (2) among rookies.
• Roman Josi has eight points (3g-5a) in his last 14 games. The Bern, Switzerland native has led the team in ice time in six of the last 13 games to rank second on the team and eighth among the League defensemen in the category (25:43).
• Sixteen (5g-11a) of David Legwand’s 26 points (6g-20a) have come away from the Music City. The Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native ranks second on the team in points.
• With eight points (6g-2a) in his last nine games, Craig Smith has moved into first in goals and is tied for third in team scoring (12g-12a-24pts). The Madison, Wis., native owns three of Nashville’s seven two-goal performances this season. Three of Smith’s last eight goals have come on the power play. Nashville is 6-2-1 when Smith scores.
• Colin Wilson has six points (2g-4a) in his last six games as he continues to climb the Preds point-scoring leaderboard (7g-14a-21pts). With his game winner on Monday night against Detroit, Wilson now has five points (2g-3a) on game-winning goals this season.
POWER PLAY PROWESS
Eleven of Nashville’s last 31 goals have come on the man advantage, including power-play tallies in nine of the team’s last 12 games. The Preds power play remains one of the League’s most potent (seventh, 20.9 percent), while Nashville’s home power play ranks among the League’s Top Five (fourth, 24.2 percent) after posting a man-advantage goal in seven consecutive games at Bridgestone Arena (nine for 26). The Preds are now 15-4-2 when they score a power-play goal. Shea Weber leads the team with 15 points (7g-8a) on the man advantage this season.
TEAM QUICK HITS
• Eight of Nashville’s 18 wins this season have come by one goal – the team is 8-1-6 in one-goal games (.533).
• The Predators are 15-1-4 when they score first (.750), and are 14-0-1 when leading after the first period (.933, third in the League).
• Nashville’s road penalty kill ranks among the League’s best (sixth; 86.6 percent).
• The Preds have not allowed a shorthanded goal since March 21, 2013, when Calgary scored two shorthanded goals – a span of 60 games. Nashville is the only team in the League not to have allowed a shorthanded goal this season.
• Nashville leads the League in team face-off win percentage this season (54 percent). The Preds have been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 34 of their 43 games.
LAST TIME OUT: Nashville 1, Carolina 2 at PNC Arena
• Nashville fired at least 30 shots on goal for the eighth time in its last nine outings, led by Patric Hornqvist, who fired a game-high six shots.
• Shea Weber tied his season high with five shots on goal. He also led all skaters with six blocked shots.
• Matt Cullen led the Preds in the face-off circle, going six for nine on the dot (67 percent).
• Mattias Ekholm’s second-period delay of game penalty was the first minor penalty of his 31-game career.
15TH ANNIVERSARY MOMENT
January 8, 2004: Jason York scores OT winner, Mason earns first NHL win vs. Colorado
At the exact midpoint of 2003-04 season, the Nashville Predators won a statement game against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, overcoming an early two-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 4-3, at Bridgestone Arena. Defenseman Jason York provided the sudden-death heroics, while goaltender Chris Mason recorded his first NHL victory stopping 31 shots.
Mason started only because goalie Tomas Vokoun came down with the flu after starting the team’s previous 21 games. He faced a Colorado team that had won four straight and five of its last seven and came in as the NHL's best road team.
The Avs tied the game with just 15 seconds left in regulation, setting up York’s tally 1:12 into overtime.
“I thought it was going to slip away,” Mason said. “I was unbelievably nervous. They have an All-Star Team.”
The victory was the beginning of something special, as the Predators went 8-2-2 in the next 12 games, positioning themselves for the first playoff berth in franchise history.
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