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Hutton beats former team
Sharks float through another home loss
4/5/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Nashville Predators are poised to do some damage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a few days. Oh wait, no the Predators will be playing golf in 9 days when the regular season ends, but don't tell the Sharks that. San Jose was got beat by a team that looked like playoff contenders on Saturday night, shutting out San Jose 3-0 in another loss to a pretender. Nashville swept the Sharks in the season series, winning all three meeting this season in regulation.

* The Predators were led by Vezina candidate Carter Hutton, who made 35 saves en route to his first career shutout. Oh sorry, Hutton isn't a Vezina candidate, he just played one on Saturday night, showing up his former employers with a layman's performance that was gift wrapped for him by a lethargic Sharks offense.

* San Jose padded their shot totals with 19 shot in the 3rd period, which skewed the way the game may look on stat sheet. San Jose threw lots of long range rubber at Hutton, which didn't really challenge the Sharks former farmhand.

* The morass that is Nashville Predator hockey trapped the Sharks in the opening period, limiting any scoring chances, keeping the Sharks off the scoreboard. The equation is nothing new, but San Jose has yet to figure out how to beat the system. Nashville simply beat the Sharks on both the forecheck and backcheck and then waited them out.

* Nashville had all the real excuses, having played against Anaheim on Friday night. The Sharks napped on Friday and forgot to set their alarm clocks.

* Patrick Hornqvist finally did something noticeable on the ice, when he pushed a rebound past Antti Niemi 3:48 into the 2nd period. The Predators lulled the Sharks to sleep with their tar pit approach to defense. Matt Cullen put a puck on net from the right side, putting it into Niemi's pads, but the Sharks netminder couldn't corral it. Loitering in the vicinity, Hornqvist lifted the puck between Niemi and the right post for the 1-0 Predators lead.

* A Nick Spaling hooking penalty put the Sharks on the power play a minute later. Brent Burns rang a shot off the right post on the man-advantage. That's as close as the Sharks would come to converting on the power play.

* Spaling exited the penalty box after the Sharks two-minute nap, then promptly setup Hornqvist with a pass from the end boards that resulted in the Predators 2nd goal of the evening. The power play failure, followed by a Predator goal was indicative of the Sharks troubles throughout the evening. Every time they were presented with an advantage, they squandered it, then allowed the other team to benefit.

* Roman Josi made it 3-0 just 4 minutes later, but he let Jason Demers do his dirty work. The Predators forward beat Demers to the front of the net, but the puck kicked off the Shark defenseman's skate, flipping over Niemi's right pad for the 3rd goal of the period for Nashville.

* Joe Thornton woke from his nap with 4 minutes to play in regulation, throwing a punch at Hornqvist for cross checking him. If Thornton took as much exception to Hornqvist putting pucks past his goaltender, then the Sharks captain might be sitting in County lockup. Unfortunately for San Jose, their captain set the pace for his teammates by sleepwalking through the game.

* Logan Couture told reporters after the game that the Sharks, "need to play better in general." Couture also predicted that the sun would rise in the morning. Too bad the sun is setting on San Jose's chances of catching Anaheim in the standings.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
NSH 0 3 0 3
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, NSH, Hornqvist 19 (Cullen, Wilson), 3:48. 2, NSH, Hornqvist 20 (Spaling, Jarnkrok), 8:59. 3, NSH, Josi 12 (Weber), 13:16.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Jarnkrok, NSH (cross checking), 0:08; Spaling, NSH (hooking), 6:31; Brown, SJ (interference), 14:13.
3rd period - Hornqvist, NSH (cross checking), 16:04; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 16:04.
Overtime - .
Goaltending
Shots Saves
NSH - Hutton 35 35
SJ - Niemi 24 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NSH 5 12 7 24
SJ 9 7 19 35
Power Play Conversion
NSH 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Carter Hutton
Patrick Hornqvist
Roman Josi
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Rehman, Walsh. Linesmen: MacPherson, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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