Game 4: SHARKS at PREDATORS
Western Conference Second Round
Sharks lead best-of-7 series 2-1
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2
NASHVILLE -- The San Jose Sharks want to match the desperation level of the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of their Western Conference Second Round series at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.
The Sharks thought they played a better 5-on-5 game in a 4-1 Game 3 loss than they did in a 3-2 Game 2 win, but they want to improve in Game 4 and learn from their mistakes.
"I think it definitely grabs our attention for sure, losing a game," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I would expect our desperation level to be in a real good place tonight."
Nashville's defensemen have been a key piece of its offensive attack all season. Defenseman Roman Josi has been the main part of that attack, and San Jose feels it has been able to do a good job of preventing Josi from making too many quality plays.
"We've done all right," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "For the most part, it's been good. [Josi's] a really good player. He definitely creates some speed and can play with the puck well, so you've got to put it in good spots. You've got to try to stay above him, those types of things.
"We see good [defensemen] all year long. We saw a good one in the first round with [Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty]. This team has a few more skating defensemen, stuff like that, so it just becomes a group effort."
The Predators won the special teams battle in Game 3 and will look to do so again in Game 4. Their penalty kill was more aggressive against the Sharks in Game 3, and will have to repeat that performance Thursday.
"We've got to continue to be good on the [penalty kill]," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "Discipline is a big thing, just stay out of the box. Their power play is very deadly, and when we do get called upon to do a [penalty kill] we've got to do a good job."
Here are the projected lineups:
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joel Ward
Matt Nieto - Chris Tierney - Melker Karlsson
Joonas Donskoi - Nick Spaling - Tommy Wingels
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak
Scratched: Dainius Zubrus, Micheal Haley, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Tennyson
Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Craig Smith
Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - James Neal
Pontus Aberg - Calle Jarnkrok - Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki - Paul Gaustad - Colton Sissons
Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman - Anthony Bitetto
Scratched: Mike Ribeiro, Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, Petter Granberg, Corey Potter
Injured: Gabriel Bourque (upper body), Cody Bass (lower body)
Status report: Pavelski and Marleau missed the morning skate for the Sharks but are expected to play. … Smith didn't participate in the morning skate for the Predators. He missed the morning skate before Game 3 and played in the game. … Ribeiro participated in the morning skate but stayed out on the ice for extra work. He was a healthy scratch in Game 3.
Who's hot: Burns leads the Sharks with 11 points in the playoffs and has three assists in three games against the Predators. … Wilson leads the Predators with eight points in the playoffs.