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Alexander Radulov and his linemates are doing their best to make sure the Nashville Predators return to the postseason.
|Evgeni Nabokov leads all NHL goalies with 30 wins. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)|
The Predators will try to bounce back from their first loss in four games as they visit NHL wins leader Evgeni Nabokov and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Radulov scored in Nashville's 2-1 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, extending his point streak to eight games (eight goals, two assists). Radulov, Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont have combined to score seven of Nashville's past 13 goals.
Radulov has a team-high 21 goals, while Arnott leads Nashville with 30 assists and 48 points. Arnott also has 24 goals - his most against any team - and 24 assists in 46 career games against the Sharks.
Dumont, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract extension on Feb. 1, ranks second on the team this season with 28 assists and 47 points.
Despite Thursday's loss, Nashville (28-21-6) has earned at least a point in eight of nine games, going 6-1-2 over that span. The Predators are tied with Calgary for seventh place in the Western Conference.
"We were fortunate to get one point tonight; we would have liked to have two," said Nashville rookie Dan Ellis, who made 23 saves. "We played a couple good games, and we just have to get back to playing the way we were when we were winning."
The Predators went 0-for-2 on the power play and are just 1-for-21 in their last six games with the man advantage. However, they have allowed just six goals in their last four games.
"We just have to stick with what we've been doing right," Predators defenseman Shea Weber said. "We were playing well there over the last little while, and I think very solid. We just need to forget about tonight."
The Predators have dropped six of seven in San Jose, including a 3-0 loss to the Sharks (30-17-7) on Oct. 20 in the last meeting there. Nabokov made 22 saves in that game.
In 2006-07, the Predators were eliminated in five games in the West quarterfinals by the Sharks for the second straight season.
Nabokov also earned his league-leading 30th win on Friday in San Jose's 2-1 overtime win over Columbus. Nabokov, who has started all but one of San Jose's 54 games, made a number of spectacular saves to help the Sharks win despite being outshot 32-22.
"Obviously, Nabby won this game," Joe Thornton said. "For some reason, we didn't have it, but we won. Now we owe Nabby a good game."
Thornton scored a power-play goal 1:49 into overtime for the Sharks, who have won five of seven. San Jose improved to 13-12-4 at HP Pavilion and 2-1-0 on its current six-game homestand.
Thornton has recorded two assists in each of the Sharks' two wins over the Predators this season, and has three goals and eight assists in a six-game points streak at home versus Nashville.