Skip to main content

Headlines

playoffs

Instant analysis: Sharks at Predators, Game 4

Fisher scores 11:12 into third overtime; Nashville ties series 2-2

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / NHL.com Director of Editorial

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators won Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. Center Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the game 11:12 into the third overtime. The best-of-7 series is tied at two wins apiece.

Nashville's Colin Wilson scored 41 seconds into the game and Fisher made it 2-1 at 9:50 of the first period. Left wing James Neal tied it 3-3 with 4:21 remaining in the third period.

What we learned: These Predators are a confident group. They believed they were still in the series when few others did, and then they went out and proved it. Nashville scored 41 seconds after the opening faceoff to turn the pressure up on the Sharks and then kept coming, even when things went bad. The Predators hit four posts, including one in overtime, and also lost a coach's challenge in the second period. But they just kept coming and were finally rewarded for their perseverance.

What this means for the Predators: A new lease on life. Four days ago, they had to answer questions about being on the brink of disaster. Now they head back to San Jose for Game 5 with all the momentum. They were the better team in the past two games and believe they were also better in Game 2 before coming out on the wrong end of a late-game flurry of goals. In the past 72 hours, the Predators have asked questions of the Sharks, especially with their speed game, that have yet to be answered. Those answers must come quickly now for San Jose.

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm4: Fisher slides winner past Jones

What this means for the Sharks: Time to panic -- a little. Yes, the Sharks can win the series by holding serve; two of the final three games will be played at SAP Center. But San Jose knows it has to have a better team game and get back to the foundation of their identity, which includes a punishing forecheck and using defensemen in the offensive zone to generate sustained pressure and scoring chances.

Key moment: San Jose thought it had scored 7:34 of overtime, but the goal was disallowed because of goalie interference. On the play, Joe Pavelski batted an airborne rebound of a shot by Tomas Hertl to the ice and then slid it across the goal line while crashing into goalie Pekka Rinne. The officials ruled that the goal was scored by Pavelski's stick and was not the result of a hand pass; however, a review by the Hockey Operations Department in Toronto, which handles all situations subject to a coach's challenge in overtime, ruled that goalie interference had occurred when Pavelski made incidental contact with Rinne.

Video: Situation Room: Pavelski no-goal call stands

Unsung player of the game: Left wing Viktor Arvidsson was expected to be a skilled difference maker on the third line, but he has not delivered in that role so far this postseason. However, once Neal tied Game 4 late in the third period, Arvidsson was among Nashville's most dangerous players. He had two golden opportunities in the first overtime, but was denied by San Jose goalie Martin Jones.

What's next: Game 5 is Saturday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). The series is at its tipping point now. Which team takes control with a victory?

View More