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game recap

Sharks lose again, fail to retake Pacific lead

San Jose stays tied for first; Predators take over third in Central

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators moved into third place in the Central Division with a 7-2 win against the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Predators (38-25-11) took a one-point lead on the St. Louis Blues for third place. The Blues lost 3-2 in overtime to the Calgary Flames.

"I think we've been playing well, especially in this homestand," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "We're playing well defensively. [Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne] has been great the last couple games. We're definitely playing a lot more consistent. Earlier in the year, we had a couple games where we played well and then we played bad. Consistency has definitely been there in the last couple games."

 

WATCH: All Sharks vs. Predators highlights

 

San Jose (42-26-7) has lost six in a row and is tied with the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have played one fewer game.

"You don't want it to happen any time," Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said of the losing streak. "Right now, we should be just tightening up everything. We've still got to fight. You're fighting for your lives, and we've got to figure it out pretty soon."

Colton Sissons and James Neal scored two goals each, and Rinne made 26 saves for the Predators, who are 6-1-0 in their past seven games.

Sissons gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 4:14 of the first period on a backhand. Colin Wilson made a backhand pass to the slot, where Sissons beat Martin Jones.

Video: SJS@NSH: Predators honor Rinne for 500th career game

Cody McLeod gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 15:19 of the first period. Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks to make it 2-1 at 4:24 of the second period on the power play.

"We're giving up some goals," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "It's a combination of things, I think. Obviously it's not good enough to win games, so we've got to figure it out and I don't have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I've ever coached has a tough part of the season, and this is obviously ours."

Neal gave the Predators a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal at 4:48, and P.K. Subban made it 4-1 at 14:39.

Sissons' second goal of the game gave the Predators a 5-2 lead at 5:27 of the third period on a redirection of a shot by Craig Smith.

"He can finish and score a lot of goals," Wilson said. "He's playing hard, he's getting on the forecheck. [Smith] and [Sissons] have been forechecking those [defensemen] really hard and turning pucks over, so he's doing that and getting to the net."

Neal made it 6-2 at 17:01 of the third period on the power play. It was his second goal of the game and 23rd of the season. Viktor Arvidsson made it 7-2 with 38 seconds remaining.

Video: SJS@NSH: Neal nets second PPG with nice move down low

 
Goal of the game

Jones lost track of the puck when it went to the corner, and Subban scored on a slap shot from the right circle.

Video: SJS@NSH: Subban cranks a scorching slapper past Jones

 
Save of the game

Rinne made a save on Timo Meier's one-timer from the slot in the first period to keep it 1-0.

Video: SJS@NSH: Rinne shuts the door on Meier's one-timer

 
Unsung performance of the game

Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis blocked five shots and was plus-3 in 22:46 of ice time.

 
Highlight of the game

Josi deked around Burns and took a shot to set up McLeod's goal, his fifth of the season.

Video: SJS@NSH: McLeod finishes rebound from Josi's rush

 

They said it

"I love the way we [put] our foot on the pedal. Obviously we know they knocked us out (of the playoffs) last year, and we want revenge. The way we've played them in the last couple games, I think we'd feel really confident in playing them in the playoffs. We'll just keep polishing our game up, and maybe we'll see them." -- Predators forward Ryan Johansen

 
Need to know

Sharks forward Logan Couture left the game in the second period after getting hit with a puck. DeBoer said Couture had to be taken to the hospital but did not have a further update. … Sharks forward Micheal Haley was given a match penalty for attempt to injure when he punched Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok in the face at 12:56 of the third period. Jarnkrok did not return to the game.

 

What's next

Sharks: Host the New York Rangers on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, MSG, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the New York Islanders on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN, FS-TN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Neal, Sissons each score twice in 7-2 victory

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