Game day Preview: Predators @ Sharks (Game 22)

The Nashville Predators are going to have to either ignore their disappointing performance from their Anaheim game, or use it to propel them past the Sharks. After a 5-1 loss and some absolutely terrible play, the Preds have been trying to re-group with the help of intense practices and team meetings. They will be up against a San Jose team who is trying to revert to their early form. San Jose started the season with 7 wins, but have only won twice since then. Their first loss of the season was to Nashville on February 2nd. 

TV/Radio Coverage

Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game

San Jose: CSN-CA and KFOX

Season Series

Date Away Home Result
2/2 NSH SJS 2-1 NSH
2/12 SJS NSH 1-0 NSH OT

Line Up News

Starting Goaltenders:

Name W L OT GAA SV%
#35 Pekka Rinne 8 6 4 2.10 .919
#31 Antti Niemi 8 4 4 1.88 .933

Projected Nashville Scratches: #24 W Matt Halischuk and #75 D Hal Gill (lower body)

Projected San Jose Scratches: #5 D Jason Demers, #26 Michal Handzus and #57 C Tommy Wingels; #88 D Brent Burns (IR; lower body)

Projected Lines

Nashville

#57 Gabriel Bourque #11 David Legwand #74 Sergei Kostitsyn
#33 Colin Wilson #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#13 Nick Spaling #15 Craig Smith #27 Patric Hornqvist
#18 Brandon Yip #28 Paul Gaustad #16 Rich Clune
#6 Shea Weber #59 Roman Josi
#7 Jon Blum #8 Kevin Klein
#22 Scott Hannan #4 Ryan Ellis
#35 Pekka Rinne
#30 Chris Mason

San Jose

#46 Tim Kennedy #12 Patrick Marleau #8 Joe Pavelski
#39 Logan Couture #19 Joe Thornton #9 Martin Havlat
#29 Ryan Clowe #23 Scott Gomez #15 James Sheppard
#21 TJ Galiardi #10 Andrew Desjardins #37 Adam Burish
#44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic #7 Brad Stuart
#22 Dan Boyle #3 Doug Murray
#52 Matt Irwin #61 Justin Braun
#31 Antti Niemi
#1 Thomas Greiss

Thoughts on Both Teams

Predators: Nashville will want to get their defensive unit back in the game as they have been a bit inconsistent of late. The team has allowed 23 goals over the last 6 games, which is very uncharacteristic of the Trotz system. Despite that, the last two weeks haven't been a total loss as the offense has managed to step up. With the exception of the last terrible terrible performance against Anaheim, and the defensive deadlock against Vancouver, the team's offensive efforts have been very good. The big dig to grab an overtime win over Dallas was inspiring; as was the OT win against division rivals Detroit.

It is also nice to see Shea Weber back on form. The Preds highest payed player and captain has been a big component of the Predators game. He was offensively dull in the early going this year, but he has turned that part of his game around without sacrificing his solid defensive efforts. Back with Roman Josi, who is currently in the zone, the Preds top pair is up to task of any team's best three.    

Sharks: The Sharks have two wins, and seven points in the past eleven games and need to find the winning formula that made them a force to be reckoned with in the early goings. Theyhave had next to no offense down the stretch, scoring more than once in only 3 games since breaking their 7 game win streak. Niemi has been good for the team, and their goals against isn't bad, but players who were good early like Marleau and Pavelski have gone deafly quiet . The team can play, and we've seen that this year, but unfortunately for them it hasn't been there of late. The Sharks will try to strike early and put the Predators behind the eight ball in an attempt to get their season back on track.

San Jose Sharks Players to Watch:

Name GP G A
#19 Joe Thorton 19 4 16
#12 Patrick Marleau 19 12 6
#8 Joe Pavelski 19 6 9

Who scores the first goal for the Predators?

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