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Nashville Predators head south to face off against the San Jose Sharks, Saturday
Posted By News Staff On Friday, February 1, 2013 @ 6:00 pm In Sports | No Comments
With four shootouts in its first seven games, Nashville has gone to the post-overtime tiebreaker more than any other team in the League this season, posting a 1-3 record in those contests. The Predators took home their first shootout win of the season on first-career shootout goals from Craig Smith (1-for-7 for his career), Gabriel Bourque (1-for-1) and Sergei Kostitsyn (1-for-5). Smith scored on Nashville’s second shot, while Bourque scored to force the seventh round. Then, in the eighth round, Kostitsyn beat Jonathan Quick to seal the win for the Predators. David Legwand also tallied in the shootout, giving Nashville four shootout goals in a game for to tie a franchise record set March 21st, 2006 in a 3-2 win against Detroit.
A season ago, Nashville only needed the shootout 10 times (5-5) – tied for eighth fewest times in the League – and didn’t reach its fourth shootout of the campaign until December 30th, 2011 against the St. Louis Blues, game No. 38.
The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks clash for the first of three times during the 2012-13 season Saturday night at HP Pavilion. The puck drops at 9:30pm. The Predators return to the Bay Area again on March 2nd, and the Sharks visit Bridgestone Arena on February 12th. While these teams have split the four-game season series the past two seasons, Nashville has picked up points in all but one of the eight games, posting a 4-1-3 record. Since February 15th, 2011, four of the six games between the Predators and Sharks have needed extra time, with San Jose winning two by overtime and one by shootout, and Nashville winning an overtime game of its own, 4-3, on November 5th, 2011.
Nashville’s two victories in the series last season came in two entirely different ways. First in the November 5th win, the Predators rallied from a two-goal deficit early in the third period to force overtime before David Legwand finished the comeback on his second goal of the night. Then on February 25th, 2012, Nashville chased goalie Thomas Greiss with two goals in the first 3:23 en route to a 6-2 win, one of two wins by four-plus goals in 2011-12 (6-1 on March 25th at Chicago). The power play was particularly effective last season against San Jose, scoring in each of the four games to finish 4-for-13 (30.8 percent).
Shea Weber has the highest point-per-game output of his career against San Jose (.78), with 18 points (5g-13a) in 23 games. He led the team in points against the Sharks in 2011-12 with five (2g-3a) in four games… Martin Erat also produced above a point per game average against San Jose last season with four points (1g-3a) in three games… Scott Hannan was selected 23rd overall (first round) by the San Jose Sharks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He played 508 regular season games and 58 playoff games for the club from 1998-2007, amassing 127 points (25g-102a) and 329 penalty minutes in the regular season and 13 points (1g-12a) and 79 penalty minutes in the postseason.
Saturday night marks the sixth stop of a franchise record tying seven-game road swing; the Predators also played seven straight on the road from October 30th-November 12th, 2002. The trip will last 15 days, and see the team go to Minnesota, St. Louis, Anaheim, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Jose, then back to St. Louis to wrap things up on February 5th. Nashville’s next game in the Music City will be February 7th against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
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