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game recap

Martin Jones helps Sharks defeat Predators

Goalie makes 27 saves as San Jose wins third straight game

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Forwards Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Joe Thornton scored, and the San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 4-1 at SAP Center on Saturday. 

Martin Jones made 27 saves for the Sharks (6-3), who won their third straight game and improved to 4-0-0 at home after going 18-23-3 last season at SAP Center.

"We've played pretty patient games," Pavelski said. "There's been a lot of commitment. Tonight you saw there were a lot of guys blocking shots. [Jones has] been really good. He's made a lot of big saves along the way. And then just the team defense has been good. All those things add up and they give us a little time to get our legs going, get on the forecheck, get that first goal."

Forward James Neal scored for Nashville (2-5-1), and Pekka Rinne made 23 saves. 

Video: NSH@SJS: Neal's redirect finds the twine

"We just feel like we're just not playing up to our potential right now, individually, as a group," Predators captain Mike Fisher said. "We know we're a better team. When you're not getting the results it's frustrating. We've gone through this before. It's how you come out of it, how you learn, how you become a team. We're going to do that."

San Jose and Nashville met for the first time since the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season when the Sharks won their Western Conference Second Round series in seven games. 

Donskoi gave the Sharks the lead at 15:28 of the first period with his second goal of the season. Center Logan Couture and defensemen Paul Martin had the assists. 

San Jose increased its lead on Pavelski's power-play goal at 2:47 of the second period with Predators defenseman Yannick Weber in the penalty box for cross-checking center Chris Tierney.  

Seventeen seconds later, Wingels sent a rebound past Rinne for his first goal of the season to make it 3-0. Forward Micheal Haley and defenseman David Schlemko had the assists.

Video: NSH@SJS: Sharks score twice in 17 seconds

"Our line's had some good chances in the past few games, tonight as well," Wingels said. "Certainly nice to get one there. Just keep building on it."

Nashville scored with 42 seconds left in the second period on Neal's first goal of the season when he redirected defenseman Ryan Ellis' point shot past Jones. 

Thornton scored an empty-net goal with 1:20 to play. He had a clear path to the net when he was tripped by Predators forward Filip Forsberg.


Goal of the game

Pavelski used his quick wrist shot and a little luck to score. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns sent a slap shot wide left of the net and the puck hit the backboards and bounced to Pavelski, right of the net. Pavelski quickly banked a sharp-angled shot off Rinne, and as the puck slowly slid toward the goal line, Rinne tried to recover but knocked it in with his skate.  

Video: NSH@SJS: Pavelski banks loose puck off Rinne and in


Save of the game

Predators forward Craig Smith had a breakaway early in the second period and a great chance to tie the game, but Jones made a left pad save.


Unsung moment of the game

Chris Tierney had the puck in the slot with most of the net open, but his shot hit the left post with 1:50 remaining in the first period.

Video: NSH@SJS: Tierney rings one off the post in the 1st


Highlight of the game

With 7:02 remaining and San Jose leading 3-1, Nashville's Colton Sissons got to a loose puck in the right circle and took a shot, but Burns made a diving block and the puck went out of play.


They said it

"Frustration is not going to help anyone. Just stay up. We know we have a good group of guys. We know we've played some great hockey games. Some nights are just like tonight, we get behind. We didn't give up. We felt like we were going to come back. It's going to come." -- Predators captain Mike Fisher


"We played more like we could tonight and in these last couple games as well here on our homestand. They're a good team, but we competed hard. We blocked shots when we needed to, punted the puck when we needed to, held on to it when we needed to." -- Sharks forward Tommy Wingels


Need to know

Entering the game, San Jose was allowing an average of 24.9 shots on goal per game, the fewest in the NHL, while Nashville was allowing an average of 33.9, the second most. The Predators outshot the Sharks 28-26. ... The Predators ranked No. 1 in power-play goals (10) and power-play percentage (37.0) in the League going into the game. They went 0-for-1 while the Sharks went 1-for-2.


What's next

Predators: At the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; FS-TN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Video: Sharks overpower Predators, 4-1

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