Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators once again defeated the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena, 3-2, to take a 2-0 lead on the season series.
An uneventful first period led to an exciting, edge of your seat second in which the home team scored three times, while the opposition put one past Marek Mazanec.
David Legwand scored his first goal in eleven games with 16:25 remaining in the middle frame.
Sunday in Carolina, Mattias Ekholm took his first career NHL penalty for delay of game. Ekholm, who would hit a more prominent milestone later, would take yet another delay of game penalty, which led to Joe Pavelski's goal at 6:49 into the second. Pavelski's deflection from Dan Boyle's shot snuck past Mazanec.
It took all of twenty-seven seconds later for Ekholm to hit the foretold milestone and correct his mistake. He scored the go-ahead goal off a backhander that went past Antti Niemi on the far side.
Roman Josi's game-winning goal at 11:30 in the second period was controversial. It appeared to be a goaltender interference call, which is unreviewable. However, Canadian Olympian defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic shoved Colin Wilson ontop of his netminder just before Josi wristed one by the Finnish Olympic netminder.
San Jose would not go away in the third period, outshooting the Predators 11-5, tying them in shots for a grand total of twenty-eight each.
Patrick Marleau's re-direction from Matt Nieto with the extra attacker at 18:38 into the third made the final minute and a half an interesting one.
Mazanec had the spotlight on him after head coach Barry Trotz criticized the other netminder, Carter Hutton, for his lack of skill. Mazanec rose to the occassion in the win, making twenty-six saves.
Nashville was able to clear the puck out twice befor the Sharks could generate any offensive setup and were able to seal the 3-2 victory at Bridgestone Arena.
– Patric Hornqvist left the game at 8:07 into the third period. Earlier in the first period, Hornqvist blocked a shot in front of the net to his shin and was hobbling around on the ice. Hornqvist did have sixteen shifts with 9:05 of time on ice, appearing not to be 100%, but well enough to play. After the game, Trotz revealed he is 'day-to-day' with a lower body injury.
– It was nice to see David Legwand back on the score sheet after going eleven games without a goal. He needs to start producing more regularly as a second line center if this team is going to go anywhere later this season.
– On Josi's goal, if I was the referee, I would not have counted that a goal. It was obvious Wilson was shoved into, but he just stayed on top of Niemi's right pad.
— Brodie Brazil (@brodiebrazilCSN) January 8, 2014
– Once again re-inserting Rich Clune into the lineup makes me scratch my head, but more times than not, when he is in the lineup they are winning. I wish I had the stat, but I do not currently. There is some type of energy he brings, although not producing anything for the good of the team. His locker room presence may be just enough to get the team's confidence rising.
NSH 0-1: David Legwand – Smith and Weber at 3:35 in the 2nd
SJS 1-1: PP Joe Pavelski – Boyle and Demers at 6:49 in the 2nd
NSH 1-2: Mattias Ekholm – Legwand at 7:16 in the 2nd
NSH 1-3: Roman Josi – Weber (2) and Wilson at 11:30 in the 2nd
SJS 2-3: Patrick Marleau – Nieto and Demers (2) at 18:38 in the 3rd
NSH: Marek Mazanec (W) – 26 saves on 28 shots; played 60:00
SJS: Antti Niemi (L) – 25 saves on 28 shots; played 58:01
My Three Stars
1. Roman Josi: GWG
2. Shea Weber: 2 Assists
3. Marek Mazanec: 26 saves
Line Up Report
Predators scratches: Bourque and Bartley
Predators starters: Wilson, Fisher, Hornqvist, Weber, Josi and Mazanec
Sharks scratches: Hannan, Couture and Kennedy
Sharks starters: Pavelski, Thornton, Burns, Vlasic, Boyle and Niemi