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Rinne magnifies SJs lack of punch
Predators take 2-1 snoozer at SAP
10/28/15 - By Mike Lee -

After beating up a rag doll in the Carolina Hurricanes last weekend, the Sharks were pegged against a tougher opponent in the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night. The euphoria of the 5 goal outburst against Carolina was tempered by an offense that offered little threat to Pekka Rinne and the West leading Predators. Rinne was typical Rinne, but the Sharks aided the Predators goaltender by staying away from the net for the majority of the evening.

The Sharks have done little offensively since Logan Couture was injured during a practice in New Jersey earlier this month, but when you stack that up against a upper end goaltender, good things are unlikely to happen.

Rinne stopped 20 of 21 shots and was rarely pressured. It was the perfect script for the Predators, who kicked off a 4-game road trip. Having the schedule makers throw the mentally fragile Sharks at Nashville to kick off their road trip was a nice way to ease the Predators into their trip.

The Sharks have crawled into a hole since Couture was injured, with nobody picking up the slack. San Jose hasn't scored on the power play in their last 19 tries, and Wednesday night's effort did little to suggest that the special teams are going to turn around anytime soon.

The Predators staked themselves to a 1-0 lead just 3:22 into the game, when Eric Nystrom flailed at a puck that was fed to him by Roman Josi up the left wing. Nystrom took a swing at the puck, and threading it past Martin Jones who looked surprised that the shot carried as much velocity as it did.

James Neal and Filip Forsberg found themselves on a 2-on-1 break moments later, but Jones stoned stepped up and denied the Predators. Forsberg had a nice scoring chance off a one-time chance, but Jones snuffed out the chance to keep the game within a single goal.

The Sharks power play woes were extended when they whiffed on a chance after Barret Jackman took offense to a Mike Brown hit along the end boards.

San Jose may as well have ordered a facial and a massage for Rinne in the 2nd period, because they weren't making him work. The Sharks put 4 shots on goal in the period, none of which were serious scoring threats.

Joe Pavelski finally solved Rinne by punching home a rebound from the slot 1:28 into the 3rd period to help San Jose draw even at 1-1. The goal seemed to inspire the Sharks but Rinne stoned Justin Braun with 8:30 left in the 3rd, waving his glove at a hard unimpeded shot from the right side.

The Sharks failure to score was magnified by a Calle Jarnkrok goal seconds later. Chris Tierney coughed up the puck as the Sharks tried to gain the Nashville zone, before the Predators did an about face, stormed up the ice and scored on Jones. Jarnkrok snapped a shot from the right wing that beat Jones for all the scoring Nashville would need.

With time winding down, the Sharks had a fire lit under them, but it was too little, too late.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
NSH 1 0 1 2
SJ 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, NSH, Nystrom 3 (Josi, Gaustad), 3:22.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Tennyson, Thornton), 1:28. 3, NSH, JarnKrok 1 (Bourque, Jones), 8:52.
Penalties
1st period - Jackman, NSH (roughing), 15:04.
2nd period - Vlasic, SJ (holding), 11:22; Webber, NSH (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:36; Thornton, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:36.
3rd period - Bourque, NSH (interference), 11:38; Josi, NSH (roughing), ; Brown, SJ (roughing double minor), 13:52.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
NSH - Rinne 21 20
SJ - Jones 24 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NSH 7 9 8 24
SJ 9 4 8 21
Power Play Conversion
NSH 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Pekka Rinne
Joe Pavelski
Seth Jones
Attendance
15,219
Officials
Referees: Martell, Meir. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Murray.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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