Feb. 15, 2011
SHARKS (30-21-6) vs.
Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California
NASHVILLE (AP) The San Jose Sharks are a bit frustrated after two one-goal losses. Chances are that they will be in another close contest in the finale of their seven-game road swing.
The Sharks and Nashville Predators have a history of playing tight games heading into Tuesday night's third matchup of the season.
San Jose (30-21-6) began this stretch of road games with four victories before falling 2-1 to New Jersey on Friday and 3-2 to Florida on Sunday. The Sharks have fizzled a bit after fast starts in both games, outshooting the Devils 12-2 in the first period and the Panthers 10-4 through 20 minutes.
REWIND: Sharks surrender two leads in 3-2 loss to Florida
They failed to protect a third-period lead for the second straight game Sunday, allowing Jason Garrison's game-winner with 2:01 left.
"The two wingers couldn't breathe by the end (of that shift) and they made us pay for it," coach Todd McLellan said. "We needed one clear to get fresh guys on the ice and we would have been fine."
Ten of the last 12 games between San Jose and Nashville (30-19-7) have been decided by one goal, including both this season. The Predators won 3-2 at home Dec. 15 and 2-1 on the road Jan. 8.
REWIND: Sharks drop 2-1 decision to Preds at the Tank
Nashville lost three of four to San Jose in 2009-10 by posting a 4.75 goals-against average. That figure is down to 2.53 this season, with Anders Lindback making 25 saves in December and Pekka Rinne 42 in January.
David Legwand has scored in the Predators' consecutive wins. Martin Erat added a goal and two assists in Saturday's 5-3 victory over Colorado, as Nashville scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
Mike Fisher had an assist in his Nashville debut after being acquired Thursday from Ottawa. Fisher had spent his entire career with the Senators since 1999.
"You always want to win that first one, and it feels really good to get that one," Fisher said. "That felt pretty good. Just trying to fit in as much as I can and learn from the other guys."
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Cody Franson scored the go-ahead goal with 2:30 to go. Franson believes he and defensive partner Shane O'Brien have been playing well together behind the Predators' top pairing of All-Star Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
"It's been great," Franson said. "It's been a bit of a work in progress for us but we've really started communicating a little better out there and it's helped us out a ton. I think we've played pretty solid lately.
Antti Niemi has been in goal for every game of this trip for San Jose, posting a 1.68 GAA and two shutouts. Niemi has a 2.57 GAA in the losses to the Predators this season after blanking them twice in six games in last year's postseason for Chicago.
The Sharks are 0 for 7 in their last four games on the power play while Predators' opponents are 0 for 12 in their last four games. San Jose has one of the league's best power plays at 22.3 percent, and Nashville has one of the best penalty-kill units at 86.2 percent.