NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Patrick Marleau continued the overtime woes of the Nashville Predators.
Marleau scored at 3:53 of overtime to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
He jumped off the bench and skated behind the Predators' defense and beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who finished with 48 saves.
"Rinne stopped a lot of rubber," Marleau said. "We wanted to throw a lot of rubber at him and he stood in there tall. He is definitely one of the top goalies in the league."
"We didn't manage the puck in traffic at their blue line," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
"There was a lot of room. Marleau came off of the bench and we had 'D' up on the play, probably a little too tight. But it starts with the guy managing the puck at the blue line."
The game was the fifth time this season the Predators have lost a game during overtime. They have not won a game this season during the overtime period.
"I can't really remember every overtime period," Trotz said. "Sometimes you've got to keep it simple. You have to self-chip it and go on the other side and get it. You have to get it deep, keep possession, wear them down, open up some seams and see if you can break down coverage."
San Jose ended a two-game losing streak and closed its road trip with a 5-2 record.
|Mixed results tonight, but at the end of the evening, the Preds finished the night in better shape in the Conference standings than they started. Nashville's overtime point, combined with Dallas (4-1 to Edmonton) and Minnesota (4-1 to Vancouver) regulation losses, served a dual purpose of moving the Preds into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Conference and extending Nashville's lead over the ninth place teams (Minnesota and Los Angeles are tied for ninth). The point also secured Nashville the season series over the Sharks (lead 5 points to 2 with one game left in the season series), which, with how tight the current playoff standings are in the Conference, could loom large at season's end.
No team in the Conference has more remaining home games than the Preds with 16 more contests remaining at Bridgestone Arena. And of teams outside the playoff picture, teams not currently in the top-8 of the Western Conference, only one has more home games than road games left on its schedule (Los Angeles, 14 home games vs. 12 road games).
Heading out of tonight's game the Preds both have the inside track for prime playoff positioning and have a schedule advantage with a heavy slate of home games to make a strong run down the stretch drive of the season.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
"We lost the first 10 minutes of the game," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "We weren't really in it. I think I looked up at one point and the shots were 8-1 for Nashville. They were much faster and quicker than we were.
"But we found a way to work back into it in the last 54 minutes. That's the way it is when you play against a team like this. Nashville is a team that is going to come out hard early. You have to find a way to weather the storm."
Cody Franson opened the scoring on a first-period power play at 6:48 with a wrist shot from the center of the right circle that beat San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi, who finished with 30 saves.
Devin Setoguchi tied the game at 1-1 at 9:13 of the second period. He skated down the right side and beat Rinne with a wrist shot high over his left shoulder from the lower edge of the right circle.
"I thought Setoguchi played one of his better games in a long time," McLellan said. "Give him the goal because it was a great shot.
"But he was on his toes. He was dangerous every time he was on the ice. He used his speed to his advantage. He was definitely a factor."
Setoguchi had nine shots and thought he could have scored another goal or two.
"The puck was kind of following our line around," Setoguchi said. "I probably should have a couple more goals than I actually did."
Notes: Setoguchi has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past 10 games. ... Marcel Goc was back in the lineup after missing one game for the Predators. ... Also back for the Predators was Marek Svatos who had not played since sustaining a knee injury Jan. 13. ... J.P. Dumont was a healthy scratch to make room for Svatos. ... Since Feb. 9, 2008, 11 of the 13 games between the Sharks and Predators have been decided by one goal.