Predators 3, Sharks 2

Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Team Streak is trending in the right direction again.
The Nashville Predators finished off a perfect week Saturday night as left winger Eric Nystrom, defenseman Roman Josi and left winger Viktor Stalberg scored goals to support a 36-save performance from resurgent goaltender Carter Hutton in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena.
It was the third straight win for Nashville (16-14-3), which entered the week on a five-game losing streak. That was preceded by five wins in six games. Before that, the Predators lost four in a row by a combined score of 17-2.
San Jose (20-7-6) started a three-game road trip with its fifth loss in six matches and its fourth consecutive defeat on the road.
Nystrom gave Nashville a 1-0 advantage at 16:04 of the first period, deflecting the shot of defenseman Victor Bartley past goaltender Antti Niemi. It was Nystrom's sixth goal, moving him within one of the team lead held by defenseman Shea Weber, center Mike Fisher and right winger Patric Hornqvist.
Josi upped the lead to two with his second goal, a power-play marker at 18:08 of the second with Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart in the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck. Center Craig Smith offered a perfect pass from behind the net to Josi, who snapped a 31-foot wrist shot over Niemi's left shoulder.
San Jose got on the board at 7:28 of the third period when Dan Boyle tipped the shot of fellow defenseman Matt Irwin past Hutton for his sixth goal. But Hutton (7-3-1) turned back 18 other shots in the period.
Stalberg made it 3-1 with his fourth goal at 17:21, rifling a wrist shot off Niemi's left leg after an end-to-end rush down the left wing. Left winger Patrick Marleau's 15th goal, a tip-in at 19:05, drew the Sharks within a goal, but they couldn't manage an equalizer despite creating a wild scrum in front of the net with under 30 seconds left.
Niemi (17-6-6) finished with 20 saves for San Jose.
NOTES: Nashville C Craig Smith, who missed the last two games with flu-like symptoms, was back in the lineup. LW Gabriel Bourque was scratched to make room for Smith. ... San Jose D Scott Hannan (upper-body injury) was scratched for the fourth consecutive game. Hannan played briefly last season with the Predators before they shipped him to the Sharks for a conditional sixth-round pick. ... Nashville is one of only three teams in the league without a double-figure goal scorer. ... San Jose entered the game with more power-play time and less short-handed time than any other team in the NHL.

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