Patrick Marleau scored with 1:07 left in OT on Tuesday night to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory at Nashville on Tuesday night -- handing the Predators their fifth loss in as many games decided in the five-minute, sudden-death period.
Marleau jumped off the bench and raced behind the Predators' defense and scored on a breakaway against Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, who finished with 48 saves.
"Rinne stopped a lot of rubber," Marleau said. "We wanted to throw a lot of rubber at him and he stood in there tall. He is definitely one of the top goalies in the league."
Preds coach Barry Trotz wasn't happy with his team's puck management on the winning goal.
"We didn't manage the puck in traffic at their blue line," Trotz said. "There was a lot of room. Marleau came off of the bench and we had 'D' up on the play, probably a little too tight. But it starts with the guy managing the puck at the blue line."
The Predators are among the NHL's best at shootouts with six wins in nine tries. It's getting through OT that's been the hard part.
"I can't really remember every overtime period," Trotz said. "Sometimes you've got to keep it simple. You have to self-chip it and go on the other side and get it. You have to get it deep, keep possession, wear them down, open up some seams and see if you can break down coverage."
San Jose ended a two-game losing streak and closed its seven-game road trip with a 5-2-0 record. The Sharks host Washington on Thursday.
"We lost the first 10 minutes of the game," coach Todd McLellan said. "We weren't really in it. I think I looked up at one point and the shots were 8-1 for Nashville. They were much faster and quicker than we were.
"But we found a way to work back into it in the last 54 minutes. That's the way it is when you play against a team like this. Nashville is a team that is going to come out hard early. You have to find a way to weather the storm."
The Preds and Sharks are among four teams tied with 68 points in the ever-tighter Western Conference playoff race. The Predators are sixth behind Anaheim and Dallas because they have the fewest wins; the Sharks are behind all three because they've played one more game.
Cody Franson opened the scoring during a first-period power play at 6:48 with a wrist shot from the center of the right circle that beat San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi, who finished with 30 saves.
Devin Setoguchi tied the game at 1-1 at 9:13 of the second period when he skated down the right side and beat Rinne over his left shoulder with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle.
"I thought Setoguchi played one of his better games in a long time," McLellan said. "Give him the goal because it was a great shot.
"But he was on his toes. He was dangerous every time he was on the ice. He used his speed to his advantage. He was definitely a factor."
Setoguchi had nine shots and thought he could have scored another goal or two.
"The puck was kind of following our line around," Setoguchi said. "I probably should have a couple more goals than I actually did."
Material from wire services was used in this report
|Logan Couture Hi-sticking against David Legwand|
|Ryan Suter Hooking against Patrick Marleau|
|Shane O'Brien Tripping against Dany Heatley|
|Shane O'Brien Hooking against Joe Pavelski|
|Devin Setoguchi Holding against Sergei Kostitsyn|
|Alexander Sulzer Cross checking against Logan Couture|