Early in the season, the Sharks are trying to
establish their identity and figure out what kind of hockey club they're going
to be this season. Wrapping up a 5-game road trip, the Sharks sputtered,
dropping a second consecutive game in a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators at
Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee on Tuesday night. San Jose fell behind early and
couldn't find the spark required to beat the Predators.
They also ran
into a team that believes they've underachieved early in their season. Dropping
4 of their first 6 games, the Predators had more motivation than San Jose. They
Played a better all around game all night, making the Sharks look like the team
everyone predicted would falter in pre-season prognostications.
Sharks were late to the party as former Predators forward Nick Bonino took a
tripping penalty 61 seconds in to the contest. Nashville converted 19 seconds
into the power play when Matt Duchene carried the puck across the blueline and
snapped a snot from the high slot. Sharks goaltender James Reimer flat out
missed the long unscreened shot.
San Jose a tough time maintaining any
sustained pressure in the Predators zone. Chalk up the last game of a 5-game
road trip to the late arrival.
Duchene was whistled for hooking Tomas
Hertl with 3 minutes left in the period. The Sharks had trouble maintaining any
momentum on the man advantage after two different players broke their sticks.
The teams traded 9 shots each in the period, but it was Nashville that
took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Tanner Jeannot opened
the 2nd period by clipping Timo Meier with a high stick to put the Sharks back
on the power play. San Jose did little with the man advantage. They did even
less 5 minutes later after Alexandre Carrier was whistled for interference on
Hertl. All the positives on the power play the Sharks brought to start the
season went by the wayside.
The absence of any offense would catch up to the
Sharks when Filip Forsberg converted his 3rd goal of the season 12:31 into the
middle frame. The Predators moved the puck to Roman Josi on the left side,
allowing Forsberg to skate to the slot where he gathered a pass before whipping
a shot that beat Reimer just under the glove on the right side of the net.
Defenseman Brent Burns was tracking Forsberg, but the Predators forward was
able to separate enough to make the play.
Timo Meier gave his team a
glimmer of hope when he halved the Predators lead with his 4th goal of the
season at the 11:54 mark. The Sharks forward scooped up a rebound off a
Jonathan Dahlen shot and took a pair of hacks at the puck to push it past Juuse
Saros. Dahlen fought off a pair of defenders to pull the puck out of a scrum in
the slot and pump a shot off Saros.
Reimer kept the Sharks hopes alive
when he stoned Filip Tomasino on a breakaway chance with 3:50 left in
regulation, but the Sharks couldn't pot the equalizer.
the game out of reach with an empty netter when Mikael Grandlund threw the puck
the length of the ice and off the right post and into the goal.
Jose returns home after spending 9 days on the road, and will face the Montreal
Canadiens. Montreal has struggled this season, losing to the Sharks 5-0 on
October 19th. Game Notes:
* Andrew Cogliano left the
game midway through the 2nd period after taking an elbow from Alexandre Carrier
on a check along the boards. The Sharks forward absorbed a shot well before the
puck arrived on a pass, but no penalty was called. Cogliano skated off on his
own and would return later in the period.
* Timo Meier, Logan Couture
and Jonathan Dahlen all extended their point scoring streaks to 6-games.
* Nick Bonino made his first appearance at Bridgestone Arena since
being traded before the start of last season. Bonino played 219 games over
three seasons for Nashville.
* Dahlen led the Sharks with 5 shots on
goal. The rookie has justified his ice time this season, but being one of the
most consistent players on offense this season. Dahlen is second in shots for
San Jose with 18.
* William Eklund was benched at the end of the 2nd
period. He would emerge on the 4th line in the 3rd period, skating alongside
Alexander Barabanov and Kevin Labanc.