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San Jose
Sharks
49-23-10
Nashville
Predators
41-32-9

29 SOG
21 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
NSH
game preview

Sharks-Predators Preview

Saturday, 12.29.2007 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

The San Jose Sharks continue to play their best hockey on the road. They hope that remains the case when they visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

The Sharks (20-12-5) will be looking to extend their franchise-record road winning streak to nine games. They will also try to snap a seven-game losing streak at Nashville since a 2-1 victory there on Oct. 24, 2002.

San Jose won 1-0 at St. Louis on Friday to improve to an NHL-best 14-3-2 away from home and set a team record by registering a point in its 11th straight road game.

The Sharks are 10-0-1 on the road in that span, during which they've outscored their opponents 32-16 and killed off 32 of 35 penalties.

On Friday, Milan Michalek scored his 13th goal with 3:55 left to give San Jose its second straight victory overall in the second game of a four-game trip. It was the third goal in the last two games for Michalek, who also scored in San Jose's 3-0 home win over Nashville (17-17-2) on Oct. 20 - the teams' most recent meeting.

Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves in that contest for his first shutout of the season. Nabokov, who has started every Sharks game of 2007-08, stopped 26 shots Friday for his fifth shutout and league-leading 20th victory. It was the 39th shutout of his career, which ranks fourth among active goaltenders.

"We stuck with the plan and we killed some big penalties," he said. "The key in a game like that is stay tight, stay patient and hope something good would happen."

Nabokov has a 2.10 goals-against average in 20 games versus the Predators. However, he's lost his last four starts at Nashville, where he is 3-4-0 with a tie and a 2.59 GAA.

Rookie defenseman Ville Koistinen scored his first NHL goal late in the third period for the game-winner and added two assists in Nashville's 4-3 victory over Columbus on Thursday night. The victory was 300th for the Predators and Barry Trotz, the only coach the franchise has ever had.

"It's great for the franchise," Trotz said. "It is a milestone, but we hope we can carry on and have even bigger milestones."

Jason Arnott added his team-leading 13th goal and Alexander Radulov scored for the second consecutive game for the Predators, who have won three of four since losing five in a row. Arnott has five goals and four assists in his last six games.

Chris Mason made 36 saves in the win.

"The word that we have to use is consistency," Mason told the Predators' official Web site. "We've got to find our game, instead of bringing it a couple of games at a time.

"The Sharks are a great team, and they're great every year. They're always a tough team, but we have to use this and get something going here."

Though Mason has won his last two starts, he is 0-3-1 with a 2.60 GAA in his career versus San Jose.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 11 '08SJS 2 at NSH 1M. Michalek
Feb 09 '08NSH 3 at SJS 4J. Cheechoo
Dec 29 '07SJS 5 at NSH 2M. Carle
Oct 20 '07NSH 0 at SJS 3J. Roenick
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
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