Tonight’s game will be a late night for Predators fans as the Nashville Predators continue their road trip which will land them in San Jose, CA against the Sharks. This is the 2nd meeting of 4 that these teams will play each other this year. Both teams come in with momentum from their previous games as the Predators shut out the Coyotes, and the Sharks took the Penguins in a shootout. As the game nears its start here is my preview of tonight’s game.
The last time these two faced off it was a quiet game with only 1 goal, that was scored on a rebound shot by Logan Couture shorthanded that would end up in the net. The shots were about even as the game neared its end. The Predators would take the powerplay and score on a rebound try by Craig Smith. A minute later the Sharks would come right back and score on a play behind the net. The Sharks would end up scoring on an empty net and the Sharks would take the victory 3-1.
With no surprise, tonight’s goalie matchup will be Rinne vs Niemi. The only long term injury right now that the Predators have to deal with is Nick Spaling who suffered a lower-body injury against the Ducks last Saturday. Kevin Klein with an ankle problem that was triggered from a blocked shot from last Thursday night’s game against the Coyotes, and Sergei Kostitsyn with a lower body muscle problem are scratched for tonight’s game. For the Sharks, Antero Niittymaki, Frazer McLaren, and James Sheppard are on injured reserve. Jim Vandermeer, Benn Ferriero, and Jason Demers will be scratched for the Sharks tonight.
3 keys to tonight’s game are as follows: #1 don’t give the Sharks good scoring chances while the Predators go on the powerplay. They gave up two good scoring chances while they were on the powerplay in their last game in Phoenix, and as mentioned earlier the Sharks would score shorthanded to start off the game. #2 The defense better be ready to work tonight. With high scoring threats on the Sharks like Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe, and Logan Couture, you better have your A game on tonight on the defensive side of the puck. #3 Shoot, shoot, and shoot. As I said in my last preview, it’s the only way to put the puck in net.