NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Three shots, three goals. Steve Sullivan's debut
with the Nashville Predators was just perfect.
Sullivan and his new teammates recorded only 20 shots but that was more than
enough to beat the San Jose Sharks 7-3 Wednesday night.
``It's the kid in me that just loves scoring goals,'' said Sullivan,
acquired from Chicago on Monday. ``You always hope for nights like these, but
they are never easy. They usually come few and far between. I'm just happy the
team got the win. That was my main objective.''
Sullivan had no problems adjusting to his new team and new surroundings.
``To be relaxed and to stay calm were the big things for me,'' Sullivan
said. ``It was like any other game this season. I just wanted to keep things
Kimmo Timonen added two goals _ one on the power play _ and an assist, and
Scott Walker had a power-play goal and three assists. The Predators were
5-for-7 with the man advantage.
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky set a team record with five assists, three on
Sullivan's power-play goals.
``I think we have some dangerous people on our power play with Timonen,
Zidlicky and Walker,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. ``I think Sullivan
just adds another dimension. He's a dynamic player with great skills.''
San Jose started a four-goal first period when Patrick Marleau scored on a
wraparound shot that caught goaltender Tomas Vokoun on the wrong side of the
net 4:12 in.
Sullivan tied it on the power play at 9:56 with a one-timer from just above
the top edge of the left circle.
At 12:33, Sullivan struck again on the power play with a shot from the left
side of the net along the goal line that beat goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
San Jose tied it 2-2 at 14:03 with a short-handed goal by Nils Ekman, who
scored as he skated low through the slot.
In the second period, the Predators needed only 24 seconds to take the lead
on Greg Johnson's goal. The lead grew to 4-2 at 5:06 when Sullivan found
Timonen from behind the goal.
Sullivan scored his third power-play goal at 17:11 when he again beat
Nabokov from the side of the net along the goal line.
San Jose replaced Nabokov with Vesa Toskala to start the third period, but
it didn't matter to the Predators, who struck quickly again. Walker scored on
the power play 22 seconds in and Timonen made it 7-2 at 1:33, also on the power
``It was a good lesson for us,'' Nabokov said. ``We can't take any team
lightly. Penalty kills win games or lose games. In this case, the penalty kill
lost the game for us.''
San Jose's Scott Thornton made it 7-3 at 6:16.
``Nashville played really well,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. ``We
weren't sharp in some areas. We'll just rip this one up and throw it away.''