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Predators smack Sharks 6-2
Nashville sweeps the season series 3-0
2/23/2023 - By Mike Lee

The season of dismay began precariously back on October 7th in Prague, when the Nashville Predators beat the Sharks 4-1. They would win the next night, which would trigger a 5-game losing streak to start the season for the Sharks. The two teams squared off in their season finale at SAP Center on Thursday night, and not a lot has changed in the 4 months since the two teams last met. The Predators, controlled Thursday night's contest from start to finish en route to a 6-2 victory to sweep the season series.

Alexander Barabanov put his team in a hole 6 minutes into the game, when he was called for a tripping infraction. The Predators converted on the game's first power play when Nino Niederreiter scored his 17 goal of the season. Niederreiter was trying to hit Matt Duchene in front of the net, but his pass hit Mario Ferraro, redirecting it past James Reimer for the 1-0 Nashville lead.

The Sharks had their own 1st power play to try and level the score after Cody Glass was sent off for interference. The Sharks would generate a single shot on goal on that power play chance, coming in the form of a Martin Kaut tip right before the penalty expired.

San Jose would only record 4 shots on goal in total in that opening 20 minutes, fueled by an effort that was devoid of the same energy that fueled their 4-0 win over Seattle on Monday afternoon.

Nashville doubled up their lead just 1:28 into the 2nd period. Mikael Granlund fired a shot from the space between the left dot and the bottom of the circle that slipped between Reimer's pads for his 8th goal of the season. Philip Tomasino had put a shot on goal that kicked back out to Granlund who was in the right spot at the right time.

From the hockey oddities department, referees Peter MacDougall and Kyle Rehman called a major penalty on Nico Sturm 7 minutes into the period after Juuso Parssinen crumpled to the ice following a whistle. The play was reviewed, which showed that not only was a major penalty an overreaction, but there wasn't a penalty on the play at all. Sturm was allowed to exit the box as Rehman announced the absence of any penalty on the play.

Erik Karlsson was called for a hook at 8:05, and this penalty stuck. Sturm responded by gathering a Steven Lorentz lead pass, then racing up the right side and lifting a puck past goaltender Juuse Saros.

Karlsson just missed tying the game after he missed on a breakaway chance after exiting the penalty box.

Nashville regained their 2-goal lead at 13:34 when Tomasino set up Granlund with a pass through the slot. Granlund had floated over to the right side undefended. Karlsson was slow to get back, allowing the Predators forward to stuff home his 9th goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.

San Jose looked to get back into the game late in the period when Kevin Gravel was sent off for pushing Noah Gregor into Saros. The Predators dispatched any idea of a comeback when Yakov Trenin flipped a puck past Reimer for the short-handed goal. That pushed the Predators lead to 4-1.

Martin Kaut scored his first goal as a Shark, depositing a Tomas Hertl feed from the right post 50 seconds into the 3rd period.

Tanner Jeannot leveled Barabanov from behind at 4:02 to put the Sharks on the power play, but San Jose would not capitalize.

Niederreiter added his second goal of the game at 10:48 with a shot from the right side.

Mikey Eyssimont irritability landed him in the penalty box for roughing at 13:13. Nashville answered with their 6th goal of the game when Tommy Novak deposited a Matt Duchene feed for his 8th tally of the year.

Game Notes:

* Nico Sturm's short-handed goal in the 2nd period was on the second goal of that type for the Sharks this season.

* Tim Meier missed his second consecutive game with what's being reported as an upper body injury.

* Tomas Hertl was back in the lineup after he missed Monday's game to welcome his 2nd son Theo.

* Radim Simek was activated before the game off the injured reserve, but he was not in the lineup for San Jose. The defenseman has missed the last 20 games due to issues related to a lower body issue.

* Several Sharks alumni were in attendance for the game. They are in town to play in the special alumni game at Tech CU Arena on Friday night. That game is all part of the Patrick Marleau number retirement festivities, which culminate with the retirement ceremony before Saturday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks.


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1 2 3 T
NSH 1 3 2 6
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, NSH, Niederreiter 17 (Grandlund, Duchene), 6:24, (pp).
2nd period - 2, NSH, Granlund 8 (Tomasino), 1:28. 3, SJ, Sturm 12 (Lorentz), 8:37, (sh). 4, NSH, Granlund 9 (Tomasino, Glass), 13:34. 5, NSH, Trenin 8 (Smith), 19:31, (sh).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Kaut 2 (Hertl, Eyssimont), 0:50. 7, NSH, Niederreiter 18 (Duchene, Novak), 10:48. 8, NSH, Novak 8 (Duchene, Josi), 14:00, (pp).
1st period - Barabanov, SJ (tripping), 5:57; Glass, NSH (interference), 8:45.
2nd period - Karlsson, SJ (hooking), 8:05; Gravel, NSH (interference), 18:05.
3rd period - Jeannot, NSH (boarding), 4:02; Ekholm, NSH (tripping), 8:17; Eyssimont, SJ (roughing), 13:13; Niederreiter, NSH (interference), 17:10; Benning, SJ (slashing), 17:10; McDonagh, NSH (hooking), 19:12.
Shots Saves
NSH - Saros 24 22
SJ - Reimer 30 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NSH 8 14 8 30
SJ 4 11 9 24
Power Play Conversion
NSH 2 of 3
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Mikael Granlund
Matt Duchene
Philip Tomasino
SAP Center - 11,320
Referees: #38 Peter MacDougall, #10 Kyle Rehman. Linesmen: #89 Joe Mahon, #82 Ryan Galloway.

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