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Better effort but same results
Late comeback bid falls short in 4-2 loss to Nashville
2/24/2024 - By Mike Lee

When the Sharks sputtered out of the gate to start the 2023-24 NHL Season, one of those gory losses in their first 11 games was a 5-1 smack down by the Nashville Predators. The Sharks have improved since that ugly period, but they would still fall short to the Predators on Saturday night 4-2 at SAP Center. San Jose trailed by a lone goal late, before an empty net tally ended things.

The biggest problem for San Jose in this one was a late start. They allowed goals in each of the first two periods before waking up in the final frame. A spirited comeback attempt was valiant, but the Sharks need to learn how to lead games against good teams like Nashville. They allowed the Predators to dictate the flow of the game for the first 40 minutes, and allowed big spans where they never came close to sniffing the Nashville net.

The Predators drew first blood when Kiefer Sherwood got lost on the right side and lifted a Michael McCarron feed midway through the opening period. Kyle Burroughs and Calen Addison overloaded on the left side where McCarron drew the Sharks defense. The Predators right wing saw Sherwood lurking on the weak side, hitting him with a pass through the crease for a one time chance that goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen was late on.

Nashville held a slim 8-7 advantage in shots in the period, even though the Sharks enjoyed a pair of power play chances that they failed to capitalize on.

It took the Sharks almost 12 minutes to record their first shot of the 2nd period. Nashville had amassed 10 shot of their own, but thanks to Kahkonen, the game remained a single goal deficit.

The Sharks got into penalty trouble in that middle period, but Ryan Carpenter almost turned the tables on Nashville when he intercepted a pass at his own blueline before racing in on Juuse Saros on a breakaway chance that was denied by the Predators goaltender.

A tripping penalty to Henry Thrun would finally catch up to the Sharks. Filip Forsberg scored his 27th of the season with a shot from the space between the high slot and the top of the right circle. Forsberg snapped a shot that got past Kahkonen in a hurry, catching the upper left corner of the net.

Mikael Granlund halved the Predators lead 70 seconds into the 3rd period, by jamming a shot past Saros from outside the right post. The Sharks forward had a chance moments earlier, but lost the handle on the puck. He would

The Predators would respond 2 minutes later when Sherwood bagged his 2nd of the game. The winger fired a shot from the right side after blowing past Thrun's weak attempt at a check, making it a 3-1 game.

Filip Zadina potted his 8th of the season at 9:33 on a put back after Jan Rutta bounced a shot off Saros. Zadina was lurking on the right side when the puck landed perfectly on his stick.

The Sharks looked as if they may have tied the game with 9 minutes and change to play, but video replay could not confirm that the puck crossed the goal line.

San Jose was forced to pull Kahkonen late, but that simply setup former Shark Gus Nyquist with an empty net tally to seal the game. The goal was Nyquist's 14th of the season.

Game Notes:

* Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a medical scratch as he deals with an upper body issue that forced him to miss the last three Shark practices.

* San Jose did get right wing Givani Smith back from the injured reserve. Smith missed 20 games dealing with a lower body issue.

* Logan Couture was officially moved to the injured reserve as he addresses his groin issue.

* Kevin Labanc and Nikita Okhotiuk were regular scratches. Okhotiuk has only played in one of the Sharks last 5 contests. Labanc was scratched for the 9th time in his last 11 games.

* The Sharks 15,919 tickets sold for the Saturday night affair.


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1 2 3 T
NSH 1 1 2 4
SJ 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, NSH, Sherwood 6 (McCarron, Josi), 10:12.
2nd period - 2, NSH, Forsberg 27 (Novak, Nyquist), 18:25, (pp).
3rd period - 3, SJ, Granlund 7 (Emberson), 1:10. 4, NSH, Sherwood 7 (Carrier), 3:40. 5, SJ, Zadina 8 (Rutta), 9:33. 6, NSH, Nyquist 14 (unassisted), 19:48, (en).
1st period - Lauzon, NSH (tripping), 4:53; Fabbro, NSH (high sticking), 17:40.
2nd period - Burroughs, SJ (hooking), 2:05; Emberson, SJ (holding), 12:52; Thrun, SJ (tripping), 17:10.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
NSH - Saros 25 23
SJ - Khakonen 34 31
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NSH 8 15 12 35
SJ 8 5 12 25
Power Play Conversion
NSH 1 of 3
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Kiefer Sherwood
Mikael Granlund
Juuse Saros
SAP Center - 15,919
Referees: #13 Furman South, #18 Tom Chmielewski. Linesmen: #65 Tommy Hughes, #91 Ben O'Quinn.

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