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game preview

Predators at Sharks preview

San Jose center Thornton needs one point for 1,400 in career; Nashville starts four-game road trip

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

PREDATORS (5-4-2) AT SHARKS (6-5-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The San Jose Sharks will try to win a season-high third straight game when they face the Nashville Predators at SAP Center on Wednesday. The Sharks are 5-2-0 in their past seven games. San Jose center Joe Thornton needs one point to become the 20th player in NHL history with 1,400.

The Predators are 1-2-1 in their past four games entering the opener of a four-game road trip. Goaltender Pekka Rinne, who backed up Juuse Saros in a 6-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday, will make his ninth start of the season. Rinne is 5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.

 

Players to watch

Predators forward Filip Forsberg has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past nine games. He leads Nashville in points (13), goals (eight) and game-winning goals (two).

Sharks rookie defenseman Tim Heed has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games. He had a power-play goal and an assist in San Jose's 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

 

They said it

"The Toronto game was a great example of us kind of firing on all cylinders, what that looks like against a very good team. But in the NHL, it's replicating that every night and not taking a deep breath, 'OK, we did it, now we can take our foot off the gas.' It's finding that consistency." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer

"I feel more confident, going through that. Mentally for a goalie it's a good thing. I think mentally you are stronger, and you can definitely use that to your advantage. For me, so far I've felt very comfortable and very confident on the ice." -- Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne on his strong start after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Scott Hartnell -- Calle Jarnkrok -- Miikka Salomaki

Kevin Fiala -- Colton Sissons -- Craig Smith

Cody McLeod -- Frederick Gaudreau -- Austin Watson

Alexei Emelin -- P.K. Subban

Roman Josi -- Mattias Ekholm

Matt Irwin -- Samuel Girard

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Yannick Weber, Pontus Aberg

Injured: Nick Bonino (lower body), Ryan Ellis (knee)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Kevin Labanc -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Melker Karlsson -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl

Joonas Donskoi -- Chris Tierney -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Ryan Carpenter -- Joel Ward

Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Barclay Goodrow, Dylan DeMelo, Jannik Hansen

Injured: Paul Martin (ankle)

 

Status report

Bitetto, Weber and Pontus Aberg stayed on the ice for extra work at Nashville's optional morning skate and will likely be scratched, with Irwin, Girard and McLeod returning to the lineup. Bonino skated with the Predators for the first time since being injured against on Oct. 14 against the Chicago Blackhawks. ... Martin skated with the Sharks for the second straight day.

 

Stat pack

Couture has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Nashville has won four of six games against San Jose during the past two seasons.

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