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Preds power play pounds Sharks
Tough road schedule beginning to takes its toll
11/17/09 - By Mike Lee -

Playing their third game in four nights, the Sharks let the wear and tear of an NHL season show on Tuesday night as San Jose dropped a 4-3 decision to the Nashville Predators at the Sommet Center in Nashville . Squaring off against the NHL’s worst power play, the Sharks and their top ranked penalty killing unit surrendered a pair of power play goals and were forced to play catch up all night.

The Sharks had only given up 10 power play goals all season and Nashville has recorded a mere 8 tallies on the man-advantage, but the tables were turned by a Predators lineup that was robbed of a point by the Sharks last week in San Jose.

San Jose committed four minor penalties on the night, but the puck ended up in their goal on half of them. Steve Sullivan started things off by scoring his 5th goal of the season at 13:19 of the opening period, after Logan Couture was called for holding and Douglas Murray was sent off for tripping. Sullivan placed a shot from the bottom of the right circle passed Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss, who was making his 4th start of the season.

Former Predator Scott Nichol would even the score before Murray ’s penalty expired on a short handed chance 64 seconds after Sullivan’s goal. The goal was Nichol’s first as a Shark, coming against Predators netminder Pekka Rinne.

Jerred Smithson would put the Predators back on top less than two minutes later with a wrist shot from 12 feet out in the slot.

A tripping penalty to Dan Boyle at 6:26 of the 2nd period would put the Predators back on the power play, and Nashville would once again cash in. Ryan Suter would send a shot in from the point and Joel Ward deflected the shot from in front of the Sharks net to make it 3-1 Nashville .

A turnover by Murray in the neutral zone at 10:57 would turn into another Predators goal. Shea Webber intercepted Murray ’s pass, and moved the puck to Ward who skated in on a 2-on-1 with David Legwand. Ward would slide a pass to Legwand, who snapped a shot past Greiss, and the Sharks were suddenly facing a three-goal deficit.

Joe Thornton would cut the Nashville lead to 4-2 with 41 seconds remaining in the period with his 6th goal of the season.

San Jose would fail to leverage the last second momentum they seized with Thornton ’s goal when play resumed in the 3rd period. San Jose would muster 9 shots on goal in the period, but Nashville countered with 8 shots of their own.

Combine that with two Predators penalties in the period, the Sharks weary legs bean to show.

The Sharks were forced to pull Greiss late, which would net a Patrick Marleau goal with 52 seconds left in regulation. Marleau deflected a Thornton shot past Rinne, to pull the Sharks to within a single goal.

That’s as close as San Jose would get. When play resumed following Marleau’s goal, the Sharks couldn’t win a faceoff. They had two chances, but the Predators perfect time to pull themselves even on face-offs.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 1 3
NSH 2 2 0 4
1st period - 1, NSH, Sullivan 5 ( Dumont , Suter), 13:19, (pp). 2, SJ, Nichol 1 (Ortmeyer, Joslin), 14:23, (sh). 3, NSH, Smithson 4 (Legwand, Ward), 16:06.
2nd period - 4, NSH, Ward 3 (Suter, Legwand), 8:16, (pp). 5, NSH, Legwand 2 (Ward, Weber), 10:57. 6, SJ, Thornton 6 (McLaren, Ferriero), 19:19.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Marleau 13 (Thornton, Clowe), 19:08.
Penalties
1st period - Couture, SJ (holding), 11:44; Murray, SJ (tripping), 12:51.
2nd period - Boyle, SJ (tripping), 6:26.
3rd period - Vlasic, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 0:36; Dumont , NSH (holding he stick), 1:21; Suter, NSH (holding), 10:58.
 
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 31 27
NSH - Rinne 32 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 14 9 32
NSH 14 9 8 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
NSH 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
David Legwand
Joel Ward
Pekka Rinne
Attendence
13,324
Officials
Referees: Joannette, StLaurent. Linesmen: Murphy, Nelson.

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