San Jose Sharks Rally to Beat Nashville Predators in Game 1

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The San Jose Sharks rallied back in the third period to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-2.

The game started with one of the most recognized superstitions.

The cat appeared to work as neither team could score in the first period. The offense did not wake up until the second period when Mike Fisher gave the Predators a 1-0 lead on a power play goal.

“I thought we were pretty patient in our own end in the first two periods,” said Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm. “I thought it was a fairly even game until they scored that third goal. But it’s Game 1 of seven. I think we all know how effective they are on the power play. We have to make sure we don’t put ourselves in that position too many times in the next game.”

That was all the Sharks needed along with sloppy defense from the Predators to battle through the third. Spectators could tell the Predators ran out of gas. After all, they just finished a rough seven game series against the Anaheim Ducks while the Sharks enjoyed plenty of rest after they eliminated the Los Angeles Kings.

The Sharks came out fast and loose in the third, throwing a monkey wrench into Nashville’s plans. Tomas Hertl tied the game at 2:37 on a power play goal.

Joel Ward scored after Predators goalie Pekka Rinne got stuck in the splits. He realized too late that the puck remained on Ward’s stick.

Ward quickly snapped it into the net before Rinne could reach back.

Logan Couture added their third goal with a flick over Rinne’s shoulder.

“We tried to fight against any kind of rust or intensity issues,” said Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. “We came out, we didn’t really take it to any level in the first. We were just kind of there. We just kind of played with them. As the game went on, we got better and we could feel them on their heels a little bit, I think.”

Ryan Johnson scored another goal for the Predators, but Couture answered back in 20 seconds.

Tommy Wingels sealed the win with an empty net goal with less than a minute in the game. They pushed the Predators into a downward spiral and could not recover.

Paveliski noted, “It was just good to see the guys keep feeding off the crowd, feeding off the goals and really pushing for the next one.”


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