San Jose (14-4-4) at Nashville (9-8-1)

Fair Currently: Nashville, TN
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Tue Nov 17, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The NHL-leading San Jose Sharks are on a 12-game point streak, but they’re not happy about blowing a pair of two-goal leads recently.

The Sharks complete a three-game road swing Tuesday night when they take on the Nashville Predators.

San Jose (14-4-4) has not lost in regulation since a 5-2 defeat to Tampa Bay on Oct. 22, going 9-0-3 since.

The Sharks, though, squandered two-goal leads in two of their last three games. They fell 3-2 in a shootout to Dallas on Thursday and 4-3 in overtime at Chicago on Sunday.

“You’ve got to bear down, hold on to those games,” center Joe Pavelski(notes) said. “It is the second time in three games and maybe it’s an issue, but I don’t think so. We’re pretty resilient.”

Rookie defenseman Jason Demers(notes) recorded his first career goal and Patrick Marleau(notes) scored 45 seconds later to give San Jose a 3-1 lead two minutes into the second period Sunday. The Sharks, however, allowed the Blackhawks to pull even heading into the third.

“Sometimes the hockey gods don’t work in your favor,” coach Todd McLellan said. “If we could have gotten the fourth one, it could have worked in our favor. But they fought back, and that’s what good teams do.”

Marleau ended a six-game goal drought and Dany Heatley(notes) scored in his third straight game for San Jose. Six of Heatley’s seven power-play goals this season have come on the road.

The Sharks will likely face a hot goaltender in Nashville’s Pekka Rinne(notes), who won five of his last six starts with a 1.99 goals-against average. He made 20 saves as Nashville (9-8-1) beat Montreal 2-0 on Saturday.

“The guys on defense did a great job, I didn’t have to face too many shots,” Rinne said. “Obviously you have your good saves and your moments, but it was one of the easier games that we have had this year so far.”

Steve Sullivan(notes) scored both goals and had 11 shots on goal as Nashville outshot Montreal 55-20. The 55 shots and 24 in the first period were franchise records.

“It’s just the mindset, you break down teams’ defense when you put it on net,” coach Barry Trotz said. “They are scrambling for pucks, they are reaching, and we are being firm in their offensive zone.”

The Predators have won six of eight and two in a row since a 4-3 loss at San Jose last Tuesday. Nashville blew a 3-2 lead in the third period as Devin Setoguchi(notes) scored the equalizer and defenseman Dan Boyle(notes) had the winner with one minute left.

Neither of the goaltenders that started that game are expected to start Tuesday. Dan Ellis(notes) had 25 saves for Nashville and Thomas Greiss(notes) 23 for San Jose.

The Sharks’ Evgeni Nabokov(notes) went 6-1-1 with a 2.01 GAA in his last eight starts versus the Predators.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders



Tuesday, Nov 17