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Preview: Predators at Sharks

Nashville looking to avoid fifth loss in row; San Jose trying for third straight win

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (32-24-11) at SHARKS (40-19-7)

4 p.m. ET; SN, FS-TN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

 

Predators team scope

The Nashville Predators will try to avoid losing a fifth straight game after starting their California road trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and a 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. "We're giving points away right now," defenseman Roman Josi said. "The last couple of games, just bad decisions on our part." The Predators gave up a power-play goal to Jarome Iginla in overtime after being penalized for having too many men on the ice. The Kings were 3-for-3 on the power play, and the Predators have allowed six power-play goals on 11 opportunities during the losing streak. Pekka Rinne, who made 33 saves against the Kings, is likely to start. Defenseman Ryan Ellis was a late scratch Thursday after reaggravating a lower-body injury and did not practice Friday. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm (undisclosed) also missed practice. "It's always challenging with the lineup moving around a little bit," coach Peter Laviolette told the Predators website.

 

Sharks team scope

Goalie Martin Jones will make his 55th start of the season in the first of back-to-back games for the San Jose Sharks. Jones made 25 saves in a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday and is 3-1-0 with six goals allowed in his past four games. He's 31-16-6 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Jones made 27 saves in a 4-1 win against Nashville on Oct. 29 at SAP Center. The Sharks, who lead the Pacific Division, have won two straight and five of six. San Jose went four games without a power-play goal (0-for-10) before scoring twice in five opportunities against Washington. "When your power play goes dry for a little bit, you kind of second guess yourself, and I think with a game like that, we just wanted to work hard for each other, work away from the puck hard, and I think we did that," center Joe Thornton said. The Sharks, who allowed a power-play goal in four straight games, killed all five Capitals power plays and completed a two-game sweep of the season series. "It's always nice when you play the best team in the League and do well," coach Peter DeBoer said. "It gives you some confidence."

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Cody McLeod -- Colton Sissons -- Austin Watson

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Roman Josi -- Matt Irwin

Anthony Bitetto -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Harry Zolnierczyk, Brad Hunt

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body), PA Parenteau (upper body), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Vernon Fiddler (upper body)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Jannik Hansen -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Joonas Donskoi -- Tomas Hertl -- Melker Karlsson

Micheal Haley -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Marcus Sorensen

Injured: David Schlemko (lower body)

 

Status report

Parenteau, who hasn't played since being acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils on March 1, skated for a second straight day and said there's a chance he could make his Nashville debut Saturday. "We're talking about that today," Parenteau said. ... Fiddler skated Friday and there's a chance he could return to the lineup after missing one game and center the fourth line. ... The Sharks are expected to have the same lineup they used against the Capitals.

 

Who's hot

Couture has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. ... Burns has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. ... Pavelski has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past two games. ... Forsberg has 17 points (12 goals, five assists) and two hat tricks in his past 12 games. He has three game-winning goals in that stretch.

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