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Triple overtime proves too much for SJ
Nashville evens series at 2-2 with comeback win
5/5/16 - By Mike Lee -

So much for that 2-0 lead. The Sharks limp home from Nashville after dropping Game 4 on a Mike Fisher goal scored in triple overtime. San Jose blew a 3rd period lead, then misfired on a boatload of chances in the three extra periods, but they simply found a way to lose. San Jose actually put what should have been the game winning goal into the Predators net, but a controversial call waved off what would have been the goal to put the Sharks up 3-1 in the series.

Fisher scored 11:12 into the 6th period after Mattias Ekholm sent a shot that Sharks goaltender Martin Jones mishandled. Fisher cut across the slot and jammed home a shot that ended a marathon contest that San Jose just flat out mishandled.

The chances were plentiful. San Jose didn't deliver.

Where have we heard that before?

Nashville didn't waste any time, slipping a puck past Jones just 41 seconds into the contest. Mattias Ekholm fired a shot from the left point, hitting a defender in front of the net. The puck squirted over to the left side of the crease where Wilson slipped under the Sharks defense and pushed a shot into a wide open net. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun were caught too high on the play, and could only sit and watch as Wilson helped Nashville grab the early 1-0 lead.

Brent Burns tied the game less than 3 minutes later, firing a shot from a severe angle on the right side, lifting the puck between Pekka Rinne's left arm and the right post. There was nothing particular unique about the goal. Burns skated it up the right wing and snapped a shot from the outside of the right circle for his 3rd goal of the playoffs.

Another defensive lapse cost the Sharks just before the midway mark of the period, when Mike Fisher slipped past the Sharks blueliners to bang home a rebound. James Neal ripped a shot from the left dot that bounced off Jones and trickled to the right side. Once again, Vlasic was caught flat-footed, but Joe Thornton's inability to get back and defend Fisher is what ultimately cost the Sharks. With another wide open net, there was no doubt that Fisher would deposit the puck once he got past Thornton.

Roman Josi was called for interfering Joe Pavelski at 12:09 of the 2nd period, putting the Sharks on the power play for the first time in the game. San Jose squeezed out every second of the ensuing power play before rookie Joonas Donskoi fired a shot from the left point that hit Ryan Ellis' stick, deflecting through Rinne's 5-hole. Predators head coach Peter Laviolette challenged the play, citing an offside infraction on Paul Martin. after a lengthy review the goal was allowed to stand after Martin was ruled to have touched the puck in the Nashville zone after Joel Ward tagged up.

Justin Braun was sent off for high sticking late in the period, but the Sharks made it to the 2nd intermission still tied. San Jose killed the 38 seconds that carried over into the 3rd period, but Burns sailed a clearing pass over the glass to put the Predators right back on the power play.

Solid penalty killing was the story of the day for San Jose, who made it through the Predators third man-advantage of the game.

The tables were turned on Nashville, who got themselves into penalty trouble when Mikka Salomaki was sent off for leveling Logan Couture from behind, drawing a boarding penalty. Barrett Jackman was then sent off at 6:43 for kneeing Chris Tierney.

San Jose wouldn't waste their power play. Burns helped the Sharks grab the lead with a rocket shot from the left point that hit Josi in the hand, redirecting into the Nashville net.

The next task at hand was to keep the Predators off the board, but it wasn't to be as James Neal converted with 4:21 left in regulation. The Nashville forward scored after he had missed on a wide open net moments earlier. Neal gathered in a rebound and deposited a shot from the inside edge of the left circle, firing the puck into an open net again. Jones misplayed the puck, sliding too far out of his own net and exposing the goal mouth for the easy tally.

The game headed to overtime, where a controversial play left the Sharks scratching their heads. Midway through the period, Joe Pavelski crashed the net, gloving a puck up high before dropping it and crashing into Rinne as he swatted the puck into the Predators goal. Problem is, Pavelski was cross checked into Rinne. To make matters worse, Pavelski was also tripped by Shea Weber, which resulted in Pavelski's inability to continue the play and shoot the puck as he normally would have.

Credit the Sharks captain for still sticking with the puck and having the presence of mind to get his stick on the puck to push it across the net. Referee Eric Furlatt immediately waved the goal off, but then the play went to review. After all that, Furlatt announced that Pavelski had interfered with Rinne, so the goal did not count.

Insanity.

The NHL didn't want a playoff game decided by a video replay, so they waved the goal off. It was classic NHL. No control over their own game, especially when it mattered most.

Joel Ward would then miss two minutes later on a wrap around chance that sailed wide of the of the goal mouth. An ensuing scrum in front of the net had three Predators players dive on the puck to cover it in their own crease. Covering the puck in the crease is a penalty by the way. Or at least when the league feels like calling it.

It was back and forth in the 2nd overtime. Joe Thornton took a high sticking penalty 2:56 into the period, but once again, the Sharks penalty killers snuffed out the Predators. Tomas Hertl had a chance with 3:45 left in the 5th period, but Rinne denied him with a blocker save.

Weber obliged the Sharks with a high sticking infraction of his own with 2:03 left in the frame. The Sharks power play looked lethargic on the man advantage, not generating a single shot on goal during the 2 minute opportunity.

In the 3rd overtime, the Sharks made a push 7 minutes in, but got caught when a puck kicked out of the Nashville zone creating a breakaway chance for Colin Wilson. Jones came up big by making his biggest save of the game.

Weber took another penalty to give the Sharks yet another power play chance. And once again, it failed. It failed miserably. The Sharks never challenged Nashville with their last to power play chances, but the last one gave the Predators life.

It invigorated them.

Jones luck ran out long after his teammates called it a day. Fisher's goal sent the Continental Tire Center into a frenzy, as they even up the series at 2-2.

The two teams will compete in a best of three series that starts Saturday in San Jose.





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Scoring
1 2 3 OT 2OT 3OT T
SJ 1 1 1 0 0 0 3
NSH 2 0 1 0 0 1 4
1st period - 1, NSH, Wilson 4 (Ekholm, Ellis), 0:41. 2, SJ, Burns 3 (Couture, Martin), 3:08. 3, NSH, Fisher 3 (Neal, Josi), 9:50.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Donskoi 3 (Vlasic, Martin), 14:09.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Burns 4 (Couture, Thornton), 6:48, (pp). 6, NSH, Neal 4 (Ellis, Wilson), 15:39.
Overtime - None.
2nd Overtime - None.
3rd Overtime - 7, NSH, Fisher 4 (unassisted), 11:12.
Penalties
1st period - Burns, SJ (tripping), 16:48.
2nd period - Wingels, SJ (roughing), 6:38; Forsberg, NSH (roughing), 6:38; Josi, NSH (interference), 12:09; Braun, SJ (high sticking), 18:38.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 0:32; Salomaki, NSH (boarding), 3:43; Jackman, NSH (kneeing), 6:43.
Overtime - Vlasic, SJ delay of game - puck over glass), 9:02.
2nd Overtime - Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 2:56; Weber, NSH (high sticking), 17:57.
3rd Overtime - Weber, NSH (interference), 7:59.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 45 41
NSH - Rinne 47 44
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT 2OT 3OT T
SJ 5 12 5 9 11 5 47
NSH 10 8 9 11 4 3 45
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
NSH 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Mike Fisher
Pekka Rinne
Colin Wilson
Attendance
17,188
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, Furlatt. Linesmen: Amell, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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