San Jose Sharks (33-19-8) vs. Nashville Predators (36-14-9)
When: 8:00 PM, February 22, 2018
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
There is an extremely exciting game on tap in the National Hockey League as the San Jose Sharks, second in the Pacific Division, travel to Tennessee to take on the Nashville Predators, first in the Central Division. San Jose has won seven of their last 10 games and is in the second contest of a four-game road trip. Nashville is 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and they are looking for their third straight victory.
Sharks Win Third Straight Contest, 3-2
The San Jose Sharks downed the St. Louis Blues, 3-2, in a contest where the visitors never trailed. After a scoreless first period, the second proved to be a shootout. Logan Couture gave San Jose the lead with his 24th goal of the season a little over six minutes into the second. Ivan Barbashev tied the score at the 8:23 mark of the second, but San Jose got back-to-back goals from Joonas Donskol and Mikkel Boedker to put the Sharks up by two. Vladimir Tarasenko cut the deficit for St. Louis down to one with just 24 seconds left in the second, but neither team could find the back of the net in the third as San Jose went on to the one-goal victory. Boedker and Couture each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, and Martin Jones made 31 saves.
San Jose is 15th in the National Hockey League in goals scored with 174, and they are ninth in goals allowed with 160. The special teams for the Sharks have been fantastic, ranked fourth in power-play efficiency at 22.4 percent, and first at killing off penalties at 84.2 percent.
San Jose is led in scoring by Brent Burns who has 50 points (10 goals, 40 assists). Logan Couture follows closely behind with 46 (24 goals, 22 assists), with Joe Pavelski third with 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists). Couture leads the Sharks in goals scored. While Aaron Dell has played well and net, Martin Jones is getting stronger as the season is winding down. He has a 2.53 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
Predators Hang on for Victory over Detroit, 3-2
The Nashville Predators jumped out to a two-goal first-period lead and had a 3-1 advantage with 15 minutes left in the contest, as they hung on to defeat the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2. Scott Harnell put Nashville on top a little over four minutes into the first when he scored his ninth goal of the season. About five minutes later, Kyle Turris added his 10th goal and the Predators were rolling. Andreas Athanasiou got Detroit on the board with his 11th goal of the season, the only goal in the second period. Viktor Arvidsson restored the two-goal lead with his 21st of the season before Tomas Tatar made it a one-goal game a little less than eight minutes into the third. From there, Nashville rode the outstanding play of goaltender Juuse Saros, who made 34 saves in the one-goal victory.
Nashville is 11th in goals scored this season with 180. The Predators are second in goals allowed with 149. Nashville is fifth in power-play efficiency with 22.4 percent, and they are 13th at killing off penalties it 82.0 percent.
The Predators are led in scoring by P.K. Subban who has 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists). Filip Forsberg is second on the team with 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists), and Viktor Arvidsson is third with 40 (21 goals, 19 assists). Arvidsson leads the team in goals. Pekka Rinne continues to prove himself to be one of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League, posting a 30-9-4 record with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. He is tied for the league lead in shutouts with five.
San Jose Sharks
- Sharks are 2-6 in their last eight games against teams from the Central Division.
- Sharks are 2-9 in their last 11 road games against teams who have a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
- Predators are 20-7-3 at home this season.
- Predators are 4-1 in their last five games against teams with a winning record.
- Predators have won 13 of their last 19 games.
Nashville is proving themselves to be extremely tough at home, and they will be in this game as well. The Sharks have only won one of their last 11 games in Nashville. Look for that trend to continue.