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Predators-Sharks Preview @NHLdotcom

Four defeats have dampened what had been a promising start for Nashville. Four losses to the San Jose Sharks in each of the last two postseasons ended any promise of a Stanley Cup run for the Predators.

Facing a Sharks team that ended each of their last two seasons, the Predators look to snap their skid as the underachieving Western Conference foes meet at HP Pavilion on Saturday night.

Nashville (2-4-0) has lost four straight after opening the season with back-to-back wins. The Predators have been outscored 20-9 during their losing streak since beating Colorado and Dallas by a combined 9-1 margin.

This is Nashville's first visit to San Jose since Game 4 of its first-round playoff matchup with the Sharks last season. The Predators lost that series in five games, as they did in the first round against the Sharks the previous season.

Nashville, however, has had much more success in regular-season games against San Jose (3-3-1), going 7-1-2 since December 2003.

The Predators have scored four goals or more in three of their last four regular-season contests versus the Sharks, but struggled on offense Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to Detroit.

Dan Hamhuis' career-best five-game point streak (one goal, six assists) was snapped, but there were some bright spots as Alexander Radulov extended his point streak to four games (one goal, three assists) after setting up Ryan Suter in the third period.

"Everybody was much better," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We'll win our share of games if we play like that. We just have to bury our chances."

Radulov, 21, had three goals and an assist against San Jose in the playoff series last season, his first in the NHL.

Chris Mason, who did not play in that series, stopped 28 of 31 shots Wednesday after allowing 15 goals in his previous three games. He is 0-2-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average in four games against San Jose.

Sharks center Patrick Marleau has three goals and one assist in four games against Mason. Marleau scored twice to rally San Jose to a 3-2 win over Nashville in the decisive game of last season's playoff series, and also had the series-clinching goal against the Predators in the prior postseason.

Marleau, though, has not found the back of the net since regulation of a shootout loss to Edmonton in San Jose's season opener.

The Sharks took a season-low 25 shots in a 4-2 loss to Detroit in another playoff rematch Thursday night. San Jose faced Detroit in the second round last season, losing in six games.

The Sharks have been inconsistent, alternating wins and losses, and coach Ron Wilson already has changed up his lines since the season opener. Joe Thornton is the only San Jose player with more than five points, recording three goals and four assists.

"You have to be mentally ready," Wilson said, "and we seem to be content reading our press clippings and seeing whatever our predictions are for where we're going to finish."

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