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game recap

Predators think they've finally found their playoff gear

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:16 AM

Associated Press

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Predators think they've finally found their playoff gear
Nashville Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nashville Predators think they finally have figured out the postseason.

They have one game left to prove it.

The Predators finally outshot the San Jose Sharks for the first time in their opening Western Conference series but still lost 5-4 Thursday night. That leaves them on the verge of elimination, trailing 3-1 going into Game 5 in Nashville on Sunday night.

But they returned to Nashville on Friday agreeing that they found something in the third period, particularly the final 15 minutes, when they outshot the Sharks 14-3 and scored two late goals before falling short.

"I thought that we played regular season hockey to that point," Nashville goalie Chris Mason said. "They've been playing playoff hockey, and we said, `You know what? We've got nothing to lose."'

The Predators have been their own worst enemy, giving Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau opportunities on six 5-on-3s in the first four games. It happened again Thursday night after Nashville took a 2-1 lead in the second period.

They gave up three goals, two by Marleau, in a 6-minute span that included another 5-on-3 as they went to the penalty box seven times through two periods.

In the third, they picked up two more but actually showed the kind of intensity and playmaking the Sharks used in winning the last three games in this series.

"I know we've got another level," said left wing Scott Hartnell, who scored the last goal for Nashville in Game 4. "We showed it the last few minutes of that game, and I know we can do it. We've got to believe in each other and keep going."

Steve Sullivan, their second-leading scorer with 68 points in the regular season, finally got his first point of this postseason with an assist Thursday night. Marek Zidlicky, the Predators' top offensive defenseman with 49 points, played in Game 4 for his first action in 15 games after a separated shoulder.

Paul Kariya finally scored his first goal of these playoffs, and the Predators also got their first even-strength goal of the series on Shea Weber's goal in the second period. They beat Vesa Toskala twice more 5-on-5 in the third.

Still, the Sharks have outshot Nashville 135-102 in this series, scoring seven goals with at least a man advantage.

The series has been so lopsided that the Predators had approximately 1,800 tickets left for Game 5 after not selling out Game 2. The team had threatened to black out the game locally before deciding against that Friday afternoon, trying to rally fans to the box office.

Ron Wilson gave his Sharks the day off Friday. They planned to skate in San Jose before flying to Nashville on Saturday, and Wilson said closing out the series won't be easy.

"We're going to have our work cut out for us because of the way they finished," Wilson said.

The Predators didn't skate Friday after returning to Nashville late Friday afternoon. Trotz didn't discuss whether he will stick with his latest lineup after inserting Scottie Upshall and Vernon Fiddler in Game 4 for their first action while sitting Jordin Tootoo, Scot Nichol and Jerred Smithson.

"I thought our guys showed a lot of resolve in the third period, and I know they will continue to show resolve. This group will not give up, I know that," Trotz said after Game 4.

"We found out that we know how to beat this team, and we've just got to stay out of the box a little bit."

scoring summary
1st Period
07:03
SJS
Patrick Rissmiller (1) ASST: Matthew Carle (2), Marcel Goc (2)
1 - 0 SJS
08:55
NSH
PPG - Paul Kariya (1) ASST: Martin Erat (1), Kimmo Timonen (3)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:45
NSH
Shea Weber (2) ASST: Steve Sullivan (1), David Legwand (1)
2 - 1 NSH
07:01
SJS
PPG - Patrick Marleau (4) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (5), Joe Thornton (2)
2 - 2 Tie
11:30
SJS
PPG - Patrick Marleau (5) ASST: Joe Thornton (3), Tom Preissing (5)
3 - 2 SJS
12:56
SJS
Mark Smith (3) ASST: Steve Bernier (1), Matthew Carle (3)
4 - 2 SJS
3rd Period
04:13
SJS
Patrick Marleau (6) ASST: Steve Bernier (2), Kyle McLaren (2)
5 - 2 SJS
10:47
NSH
Mike Sillinger (2) ASST: Paul Kariya (5)
5 - 3 SJS
15:38
NSH
Scott Hartnell (1) ASST: Dan Hamhuis (2), Vernon Fiddler (1)
5 - 4 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
02:14
SJS
Alyn McCauley  Tripping against  David Legwand
07:45
SJS
Christian Ehrhoff  Interference against  Kimmo Timonen
12:42
NSH
Mark Eaton  Hooking against  Steve Bernier
18:29
NSH
Scott Walker  Interference against  Tom Preissing
19:34
SJS
Steve Bernier  Hi-sticking against  Mark Eaton
19:34
SJS
Steve Bernier  Hi-sticking against  Mark Eaton
2nd Period
06:31
NSH
Shea Weber  Interference against  Mark Smith
10:08
NSH
David Legwand  Holding against  Mark Smith
10:54
NSH
Brendan Witt  Tripping against  Tom Preissing
16:06
SJS
Milan Michalek  Hooking against  Martin Erat
18:13
NSH
Martin Erat  Roughing against  Kyle McLaren
3rd Period
01:34
SJS
Patrick Marleau  Holding against  Steve Sullivan
12:47
SJS
Scott Hannan  Hooking against  Martin Erat
13:21
NSH
Martin Erat  Holding against  Josh Gorges
20:00
NSH
Mike Sillinger  Misconduct (10 min)
goalie stats
Chris Mason
SA: 24TOI: 58:55
Saves: 19EV: 12 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 9
SV%: .792SH: 0 - 0
Vesa Toskala
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 17 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 10
SV%: .867SH: 0 - 0