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Predators look to tame Sharks power play in Game 2

San Jose scored twice with man-advantage to win opener

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

SAN JOSE -- The Nashville Predators learned some lessons against the San Jose Sharks on Friday at SAP Center during Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series. The Predators lost 5-2, with two goals coming on the power play and two more were empty-net goals, so there was no sense of panic from Nashville on Saturday.

Game 2 is at SAP Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET: NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"Part of getting to know your opponent is to get through a game," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Now we can look at what we were doing against them and what they were doing against us. We'll look to make adjustments."

The Predators did not take the ice Saturday, opting for an off day after playing eight games in 15 days. Nashville defeated the Anaheim Ducks in seven games in a first-round series that ended in Anaheim on Wednesday.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm1: Hertl beats Rinne short side for PPG

One of the primary lessons the Predators took from Game 1 was the need to stay out of the penalty box.

The Sharks were 5-for-21 on the power play in the first round against the Los Angeles Kings, a trend which continued in Game 1.

Nashville took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Mike Fisher at 4:33 of the second period, but Eric Nystrom took a penalty 58 seconds after the goal which allowed the Sharks back into the game.

San Jose did not score on that power play, but scored on each of their two opportunities in the third period.

When Nashville center Ryan Johansen took a hooking penalty 50 seconds into the third, Tomas Hertl scored on the power-play, the first of five goals in the third period.

"Their power play is really good," Laviolette said. "You are talking about a veteran group that really has been around for a while. They have a lot of chemistry. They know what they are doing and they whip it around pretty good."

The Predators did a good job negating the Ducks on the power play in the first round, allowing four goals on 25 chances. But they allowed two goals on three chances against a San Jose team that scored five power-play goals in the first round.

"It's a similar challenge," said Fisher, one of the primary penalty killers. "There is no question. We did a great job in Round 1 and we are going to have the same effort against [the Sharks] in Round 2."

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm1: Couture's perfect deflection nets PPG

Although the Predators know that they have to stay out of the penalty box, they liked the way they played against the Sharks in 5-on-5 situations. The only 5-on-5 goal they allowed came on a tremendous individual effort by right wing Joel Ward.

"I feel like it is a good matchup, both teams play the same type of game," Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne said. "Both teams are strong on the forecheck, both teams like to attack, like to shoot the puck [and] try to create chances. I thought Game 1 was a good game, good battle. If you want to win against San Jose, you have to stay out of the box. We learned that [Friday] night right away."

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