(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators both look to
keep their struggling power plays on track Saturday night as the two clubs do
battle at Bridgestone Arena.
The Sharks snapped a four-game slide on Thursday with a 3-1 victory over the
Minnesota Wild, getting all three goals on the power play.
San Jose had gone 2-for-22 on the man advantage over its previous six games,
but matched that total in the first with goals by Joe Pavelski and Tomas
Hertl. Pavelski added a second power-play goal later in the game and Joe
Thornton had two assists.
Antti Niemi did his part with 29 saves, the lone blemish coming with 7:24 to
go in regulation when a shot hit off the chest of teammate Brad Stuart.
"Even 3-0 is not safe," Niemi said. "We had to stay on our toes, get some
offense, and play hard on both ends."
The Predators had been in similar drought on the power play before a 3-1
victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday, when Patric Hornqvist and David
Legwand scored during the first period on the man advantage.
Shea Weber assisted on both tallies as Nashville's power play found some
traction after going 0-for-16 over the previous six games.
"The last six or seven games, it's been a little bit dry in terms of the goal
production," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said of the power play. "That
was a real big turning point for us. It gave us a lot of confidence at home."
Paul Gaustad added a goal and Carter Hutton made 33 saves in his second
straight start. He finished with 28 stops in a 4-1 win over the New York
Rangers on Tuesday that halted a five-game slide, with the first four defeats
of that skid coming at home.
Prior to this stretch, Hutton hadn't started a game since Nov. 10, with
Marek Mazanec having taken over the bulk of the work from the injured
Pekka Rinne (hip).
Neither Hutton or Mazanec have ever faced the Sharks, while Niemi has gone
6-3-3 with a 2.08 goals against average in 12 starts versus the Predators.
Nashville has won four of the past six meetings (4-1-1) with San Jose,
including two straight on home ice.
The Sports Network