San Jose Sharks rout Nashville Predators 2-1 in shootout -NHL Update
San Jose could have been out of the playoff race but managed to keep their postseason hopes alive as the Sharks edged Nashville Predators, 2-1, in a shootout on Thursday night, March 15, 2012, at the sold-out HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The Sharks are now only one point away from tying seventh place Phoenix Coyotes along with eighth number Colorado Avalanche and could be moving up if they continue winning.
Nashville was on a three-game winning streak heading into the Thursday night contest but San Jose was not going to be intimidating at all going up against them.
"They always put a lot of pressure on you," Nashville's Martin Erat said. "But we defended well and got a point out of it. On both sides it was anybody's game."
Patric Hornqvist fired off his 22nd of the 2011-2012 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season on the power play giving Nashville the early lead.
After a scoreless second period, it seemed as if Predators had the situation under control and would be keeping San Jose away from their net in the final 20 minutes.
Joe Thornton levelled it coming right into the third period on the power play which carried over from round-two as David Legwand was booked for interference with 11 seconds remaining to play.
"We took a bad penalty at the end of the second period and they scored on the power play," Predators' coach Barry Trotz said. "That was the difference. We learned a little lesson there. When it goes to a shootout, anything can happen."
There were a lot of chances and Nashville just could not capitalise on them during regulation in order to secure their lead.
"It was a back-and-forth game and both teams had chances," Nashville goalie, Pekka Rinne, said. "We just came up a little short."
Ryane Clowe got the only shootout goal on San Jose’s third attempt while Antti Niemi kept Nashville out on their three attempts to take the match.
San Jose has some important matches coming up due to playoff positioning as they have the next against a slumping Detroit Red Wings team on Saturday.
Nashville Predators will most likely bounce back when they face Kings in Los Angeles on the same day.