Sharks still can't find offense in OT loss to Nashville
The Sharks have not won in regulation in their last eight games. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson scored in overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 1-0 win over the Sharks at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.
The Sharks are 0-3-3 in their last six games.
The goal came when Ryan Ellis found Wilson charging towards the net behind Dan Boyle at 2:08 for the only goal of the game.
The Sharks nearly won it themselves early in overtime, but Joe Pavelski’s try on a loose puck at the side of the net after a Patrick Marleau shot, didn’t quite trickle across the goal line.
Looking to respond from their worst loss of the season on Monday in Columbus, the Sharks had a strong first period, outshooting and out-chancing the Predators. Pekka Rinne stood tall, though, robbing the just-recalled Tim Kennedy alone in front on a great setup by Logan Couture with 7:40 left.
Rinne kept out Marty Havlat’s shot from the slot with about six minutes left, while Justin Braun couldn’t find a handle on the rebound. Havlat was denied once more with about a minute to go, as Rinne got his big pad on another shot from between the circles on a nifty pass from TJ Galiardi.
The Sharks had 13 shots in the period to just three for Nashville.
San Jose’s scuffling power play failed to take advantage of some prime chances in the second, including a double-minor to Martin Erat for high sticking Braun at 1:48. A tripping minor on Jason Demers nullified two minutes of that penalty, though, and the game remained scoreless.
Later, the Sharks had 41 seconds of time on a two-man advantage on penalties to Erat and Nick Spaling. Boyle’s point shot was blocked, and Rinne gloved Pavelski’s wrist shot shortly after the penalty on Erat expired.
Nashville’s best scoring chance came on a shorthanded rush, when Mike Fisher’s shot from the circle rang off of the cross bar and deflected into the crowd midway through regulation. Antti Niemi stopped Paul Gaustad’s sneaky shot with two and a half minutes left in the second.
The Predators had the better of the chances in the third period, but Niemi denied Mike Fisher with a shoulder save with 5:30 left, and stopped Gabriel Bourque on a point-blank attempt with just five seconds left.
The Sharks had just nine shots in the second and third periods combined, and were outshot 24-22 through regulation.
The Sharks made some notable changes to the lineup for the game. Out were Scott Gomez and Brent Burns, due to a combination of poor health and poor play. Kennedy made his Sharks debut after getting recalled from Worcester, and Galiardi returned after sitting out three of the last four games, including Monday in Columbus.
Three of the four forward lines were rearranged, too. The top line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavleski was put back together, while Kennedy skated on the second line wing with Couture and Ryane Clowe. The fourth line, which generated some good scoring chances early, featured the demoted Havlat with Galiardi and Adam Burish in the middle.
The Sharks power play went 0-for-6 on the night, and is just 2-for-34 in the last eight games.
After allowing a pair of power play goals to the Blue Jackets to end their impressive penalty kill streak at 36, the Sharks killed off both of Nashville’s power plays.
After a night off on Monday, Niemi made 24 saves. Rinne, who had won four of his last five starts, made 25 saves to record his second shutout.
After making his Sharks debut against the Blue Jackets, Matt Pelech sat out against the Predators. Andrew Desjardins was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day.
The Sharks visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, before flying home to practice at Sharks Ice on Feb. 17. The road trip continues in St. Louis on Feb. 19.
Erat had three of the game’s eight minor penalties. … The game marked the second time in three games that the Sharks played to a scoreless tie through regulation. ... The Sharks have just seven goals during their six-game losing streak.