San Jose

Game Recap

Sharks 3, Predators 2, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:15 AM

Associated Press

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Sharks 3, Predators 2, SO
Nashville Predators 2, San Jose Sharks 3

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Jonathan Cheechoo scored the winning shootout goal with a deft backhand, and Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves in the San Jose Sharks' 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Rob Blake and Milan Michalek scored early goals for the Sharks, who moved one point behind NHL-leading Detroit with just their fourth victory in 10 games.

Joe Pavelski, whose giveaway resulted in Nashville's second goal, also beat rookie goalie Pekka Rinne before Cheechoo got San Jose's shootout winner in the second straight game at the Shark Tank. Cheechoo, who beat Los Angeles in the seventh round Saturday, hasn't scored a regulation goal in 13 games, but he has been outstanding in extra time as the stumbling Sharks chase the NHL's best record.

Joel Ward and Vernon Fiddler scored first-period goals for the Predators, who finished a key four-game West Coast trip with six points, solidifying their position in the playoff chase. Rinne made 36 saves in his second start in two days for Nashville, which lost in overtime at Anaheim one night earlier.

Dumont and Ward Shoulder the Load on Road Trip

The pairing of J.P. Dumont and Joel Ward were outstanding for the Predators on this four-game road trip. The duo combined to post six goals and 11 points in the four games, with a game-winning goal (Dumont at Phoenix) and an overtime forcing goal (Ward at Anaheim). Either Dumont or Ward figured in the scoring of seven of Nashville's 11 goals on the trip, helping the team pick up points in all four games.

Dumont opened the trip with a dominant performance at Phoenix, netting the game-winning goal while attempting 10 shots and creating several quality scoring chances as the Preds shutout the Coyotes 2-0 to snap a three-game winless slide. He followed that up with back-to-back multi-point outings at Los Angeles and Anaheim, before assisting on Nashville's first goal tonight to finish the trip with two goals and four assists, 16 shots on goal, and a +3 plus/minus rating.

Ward was scoreless in the road trip opener, but rebounded to score goals in each of the last three games on the trip, including his third career multi-goal game last night at Anaheim. His second goal against the Ducks tied the game with just 2:45 remaining in regulation and allowed the Preds to pick up a key overtime point.

With Dumont and Ward leading the way the Predators picked up six of a possible eight points on its West Coast road trip and moved from 10th place in the Western Conference standings into a tie for seventh place – three points ahead of the three teams tied for ninth.
--Jay Levin,

All four regulation goals were scored in the first period, and the goalies traded big stops in the final two frames, including Nabokov's excellent save on David Legwand's breakaway in the last few minutes of regulation.

San Jose clinched the Pacific Division title and a playoff spot during the past few days, but the Sharks' three weeks of lackluster play were thoroughly discussed during a 90-minute organizational meeting Wednesday. Players were reluctant to discuss the meeting's specifics, but the Sharks clearly left with a nervous edge.

Nashville went up 2-1 late in the first period when Pavelski's egregious turnover at the Nashville blue line gave a breakaway to Fiddler, who scored his 10th goal of the season. Michalek tied it with 3.1 seconds left in the period, banging home his 20th goal on a rebound after a sustained rally in front of Rinne's net.

The Predators kept playing well in their fifth straight game without captain Jason Arnott, who has an upper-body injury.

Before the game, the Sharks learned they'll be without left wing Ryane Clowe for at least a week after the bruising power forward underwent minor lower-body surgery. With 52 points in 69 games, Clowe is San Jose's fourth-leading scorer and the most important player yet to be affected by the injury crush that's hitting the Sharks.

Jeremy Roenick, Mike Grier, Tomas Plihal and Claude Lemieux all have been out for extended periods of time, while defenseman Kent Huskins still hasn't played since San Jose acquired him in a trade with Anaheim. At least defenseman Christian Ehrhoff returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury.

Notes: Sharks RW Brad Staubitz pounded on Nashville RW Jordin Tootoo during a brutal second-period fight that sent Tootoo to the locker room with blood streaming from his damaged nose. Staubitz, whose toughness has been his biggest asset during 26 games with San Jose, landed at least five consecutive right hands to Tootoo's face, leaving blood on the ice. Tootoo didn't return until the third period. ... The Predators will host the Sharks next Thursday. ... Nashville D Ryan Suter's eight-game points streak ended. ... Nashville D Wade Belak missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury, and C Radek Bonk missed his 12th straight with an upper-body injury ... F Ryan Vesce made his third appearance of the season for the Sharks, who recalled him from the minors earlier Thursday.

Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Barry Trotz
“I didn’t like the fact that in the first period, we took too many penalties. That’s just too dangerous against the Sharks, with the way they move around and the personnel they have. I thought in the second and third, we did much better. We stayed out of the box, and we battled real hard against these guys – we played last night – and we’ll take the point. It was a well-deserved point.”

“I thought we played pretty well, and I thought they played pretty well. Both teams played with pretty good intensity, we had to go to shootout, and anything can happen. We had a great chance with two minutes to go, Legwand had the breakaway and got the puck off the rebound and shot it out the back door, sort of. If we’d scored there, you never know.”

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Rob Blake (10) ASST: Joe Thornton (56), Dan Boyle (35)
1 - 0 SJS
Joel Ward (15) ASST: Dan Hamhuis (21), J-P Dumont (43)
1 - 1 Tie
SHG - Vernon Fiddler (10) ASST: NONE
2 - 1 NSH
Milan Michalek (20) ASST: Devin Setoguchi (29), Marcel Goc (8)
2 - 2 Tie
2nd Period
3rd Period
OT Period
1J. PavelskiV. Fiddler
2D. BoyleS. Sullivan
3J. CheechooD. Legwand
penalty summary
1st Period
Devin Setoguchi  Interference against  Dan Hamhuis
David Legwand  Interference against  Brad Lukowich
Vernon Fiddler  Tripping against  Rob Blake
Jordin Tootoo  Boarding against  Dan Boyle
2nd Period
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  Brad Staubitz
Brad Staubitz  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
Douglas Murray  Holding against  Joel Ward
3rd Period
Scott Nichol  Holding against  Devin Setoguchi
OT Period
goalie stats
Pekka Rinne
SA: 38TOI: 64:59
Saves: 36EV: 34 - 35
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .947SH: 0 - 0
Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 26TOI: 64:28
Saves: 24EV: 21 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .923SH: 0 - 1 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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