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Sharks come up empty in overtime

Disallowed goal, missed chances in Game 4 leave San Jose-Nashville series tied 2-2

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The San Jose Sharks thought they had won Game 4 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Nashville Predators at 7:34 of the first overtime.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski drove to the net, knocked the puck down out of mid-air, collided with Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and, with the puck rolling into the net, swatted it over the goal line with his stick while on the ice. The goal was immediately waved off; after the officials determined that Pavelski had not knocked the puck into the net illegally, a review by the Hockey Operations Department in Toronto, which handles all situations subject to a coach's challenge in overtime, ruled that goalie interference had occurred when Pavelski made incidental contact with Rinne.

Pavelski felt that he had been pushed by Predators forward Paul Gaustad from behind, causing him to collide with Rinne, but the no-goal call stood. The Sharks lost 4-3 in triple overtime, and the best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 entering Game 5 at SAP Center on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"There's everybody in the crease," Pavelski said. "I'm just coming in, following the play. The puck comes, get it down. There's guys on me. It feels like I'm getting pushed and hammered, and I'm just looking for the puck. I hit it in. I know I hit it in before the goal line. It was just one of those plays that was kind of out of your hands."

Video: Situation Room: Pavelski no-goal call stands

The Sharks had several high-quality chances to win the game after the disallowed goal but were unable to finish them against Rinne, who made several saves on shots from point-blank range.

"We had multiple chances to end the game, quality chances," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "You've got to stick one in. You've got to tip your hat to Rinne. He made some saves at the right time, and they capitalized on a mistake. I liked our [Game 4], and we've got to bring that to Game 5."

The Sharks still sit in good position in the series. Game 5 and a potential Game 7 will be played at SAP Center. The home team has won each of the first four games. The Sharks know they have to reset quickly and build on the chances and offensive zone time they were generating during the overtime periods.

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm4: Rinne comes up clutch twice

"I think we felt like we were coming on there," Pavelski said. "It's a tough way to lose, but we've got home ice. We've got to go home, we've got to do a job. The series never gets easier, only gets harder. We've got to step up our game, and we need a big win on home ice and go from there."

San Jose has lost back-to-back games for the first time in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks know they will have to be ready for the challenge Nashville will present in Game 5.

"We don't need to draw on anything," DeBoer said. "We came out, we played a good game. It's 2-2 with two good teams going at it. We just have to show up and be ready to go for Game 5."

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