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Game 5 Report Card
Grading the series
4/20/07 - By Mike Lee

San Jose closed out the series with a nail biting 3-2 victory on the road in Nashville. We rank the basics and tell you who the heros and goats were in the Game 5 Report Card:

Team Matchups San Jose Nashville
Offense B+The Sharks stuck to their plan and ended up scoring the first goal of the game to put the heat on Nashville, and the last goal of the game to ice teh series. San Jose continued to get contributions from a variety of sources, which prevent Nashville from keying on any specific line. D+Other than a 39 second spurt to start the 2nd period, teh Predators offense was AWOL once again. Their speed turned out to be a on-factor in the series, as the Nashville forwards never really had a chance to unleash itself.
Defense B-After giving up a power play goal to Jason Arnott in the 2nd period, the Sharks defense went into neutral. They would pay the price when Peter Forsberg setup a pretty goal with a feed from behind the Sharks net. The defense shut the Predators down all night, except for that slight lapse. C-Nashville's defense didn't play horribly, they just got beat by a better team. Look for the Preds to beef up on defense this off season to make up for the one glaring hole in their lineup.
Power Play DThe Sharks finally scored a power play goal, but they also misfired on a 5-on-3 that could have knotted the game earlier. Marleau's PP tally was only the Sharks 2nd goal in 28 chances. What happened to the league's 2nd ranked regular season power play? C+Nashville continued to get production out of its power play, even though they had have teh chances that the Sharks did. They created chances by forcing the issue down low. Arnott scored in Game 5 because the Predators sent bodies down low to pounce on rebounds.
Penalty Kill B-Mike Grier, Scott Hannan and Criag Rivet killed off what may have been the series deciding moment. With a 2 man advantage those 3 came up big, when it counted the most. A-1 goal in 7 chances isn't perfect, but it's about as close as anyone was gong to get in this series. Overall the Predators killed off 26 of 28 chances. It was the lone bright spot for Nashville all series.
Goaltending B+Evgeni Nabokov had a routine evening, although he could have kept Arnott's goal off the board had he shut his pads on Weber initial shot attempt. Nabokov's goal mouth save late in the 3rd also preserved theK victory. B+It seemed like Vokoun had a teammate perched on top of him every time the Sharks scored a goal. That was the case on Clowe's goal and he had a teammate crammed in the goal on Marleau's game winner.
   
Individual Matchups    
Hero  Patrick Marleau - The Sharks captin was huge in the Sharks - Predators series last year. This year, he saved his biggest performance for the final game of the series. It doesn;t get much better than bagging the game tyng and game winning goals.

Ron Wilson (Honorable Mention) - Gutsy call to stack Marelau's line with Thornton in the 3rd period. That decision turned into teh game winning goal.
 Jason Arnott - the playoff veteran stepped up his game and got the Preds into the contest with his power play goal in the 2nd period. Nashville needed the boost in confidence, and that helped contribute to the energy that notched the 2nd goal 39 seconds later.

Ryan Suter (Honorable Mention) - The kid played big minuites for the Predators in the series. He was on the ice when Clowe scored, but he was there for a reason. His future is a bright one.
Goat  Kyle McLaren - His holding penalty following Curtis Brown's tripping call could have been disasterous for San Jose. A veteran defenseman can't put his team in that kind of hole in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks dodged a bullet.  Scott Nichol - His spearing penalty turned the tide on his team's chances. Christian Enhrhoff was headed to the box for interference, but Nichol let his emotions get the best of him, which would lead to Marleau's game tying goal.



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