Sullivan and his new teammates recorded only 20 shots but that was more than enough to beat the San Jose Sharks 7-3 Wednesday night.
“It’s the kid in me that just loves scoring goals,” said Sullivan, acquired from Chicago on Monday. “You always hope for nights like these, but they are never easy. They usually come few and far between. I’m just happy the team got the win. That was my main objective.”
Sullivan had no problems adjusting to his new team and new surroundings.
“To be relaxed and to stay calm were the big things for me,” Sullivan said. “It was like any other game this season. I just wanted to keep things simple.”
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky set a team record with five assists, three on Sullivan’s power-play goals.
“I think we have some dangerous people on our power play with Timonen, Zidlicky and Walker,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “I think Sullivan just adds another dimension. He’s a dynamic player with great skills.”
Sullivan tied it on the power play at 9:56 with a one-timer from just above the top edge of the left circle.
At 12:33, Sullivan struck again on the power play with a shot from the left side of the net along the goal line that beat goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
San Jose tied it 2-2 at 14:03 with a short-handed goal by Nils Ekman, who scored as he skated low through the slot.
In the second period, the Predators needed only 24 seconds to take the lead on Greg Johnson’s goal. The lead grew to 4-2 at 5:06 when Sullivan found Timonen from behind the goal.
Sullivan scored his third power-play goal at 17:11 when he again beat Nabokov from the side of the net along the goal line.
San Jose replaced Nabokov with Vesa Toskala to start the third period, but it didn’t matter to the Predators, who struck quickly again. Walker scored on the power play 22 seconds in and Timonen made it 7-2 at 1:33, also on the power play.
“It was a good lesson for us,” Nabokov said. “We can’t take any team lightly. Penalty kills win games or lose games. In this case, the penalty kill lost the game for us.”
San Jose’s Scott Thornton made it 7-3 at 6:16.
“Nashville played really well,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. “Weweren’t sharp in some areas. We’ll just rip this one up and throw it away.”
The Predators set a franchise record with their 19th home victory. … Sullivan has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in seven games. … Sullivan was the first Predators player to score three power-play goals in a game. … Marleau has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 10 games. … Ekman has ninepoints (three goals, six assists) in seven games.