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game recap

Predators top Sharks in OT, force Game 7

Arvidsson scores at 2:03 to help Nashville avoid elimination

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Viktor Arvidsson scored the first Stanley Cup Playoff goal of his career at 2:03 of overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3. Game 7 will be in San Jose on Thursday.

Arvidsson carried the puck into the Sharks zone and beat goaltender Martin Jones with a backhand shot over his shoulder.

"It felt really good, awesome," said Arvidsson, 23, who has played in 62 regular-season NHL games and 13 in the playoffs. "It was a great feeling to see the puck go in the net, so it was awesome."

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm6: Arvidsson's backhander wins it in OT

The Predators trailed 2-0, then tied it 2-2 before falling behind on Logan Couture's goal midway through the third period. Colin Wilson tied it 3-3 with 7:16 remaining in regulation with his fifth goal of the postseason. James Neal made a cross-ice pass through traffic that Wilson quickly redirected past Jones.

"We felt like we were playing good," Nashville forward Mike Fisher said. "We didn't have a good start. They jumped us early and obviously were up 2-0, but ever since then, we felt good about our game. We could come back at any time. We've done it numerous times in the series, and come overtime, we felt good about our second and third period and the way we were playing and skating."

Couture gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 10:04 of the third. He took a pass from defenseman Brent Burns and shot it past goaltender Pekka Rinne from the top of the left faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the playoffs and fifth goal of the series.

"We've got a really good hockey team in here when guys are playing to their potential, and for long stretches or some stretches of this series, that hasn't happened," Couture said. "Everyone needs to take a look at themselves and bring it in Game 7. You never know what can happen."

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm6: Couture beats Rinne for the lead

Chris Tierney scored twice in the first period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a shot from the point, and Tierney, at the left faceoff dot, redirected the puck past Rinne at 9:55 to open the scoring.

Tierney scored again at 11:51 on a backhand shot from below the right faceoff circle. Forward Matt Nieto's initial shot was deflected to Tierney, who shot it past Rinne for his second goal of the game and third of the playoffs.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi scored to make it 2-1 at 15:27 of the first on a shot from the slot. He retrieved a loose puck in the Sharks zone, made a hesitation move to get around the defense, and beat Jones with a backhand flick from between the hash marks for his first goal of the playoffs.

Ryan Johansen tied it 2-2 at 1:25 of the second period on a backhand from in front of the net. He made a forehand-to-backhand move to get around Sharks defenseman Justin Braun and scored his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Video: SJS@NSH, Gm6: Johansen beats Jones after great move

"Once we got going and got back to doing the things that make us successful and playing Preds hockey, we were unstoppable at times," Johansen said. "We played a great game the last 45 minutes, and hats off to every guy in this room, being resilient and not quitting and finding a way to win."

The Predators will get more than one day in between games for the first time in the playoffs. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette believes the two-day break before Game 7 is coming at the perfect time.

"I can't even tell you," Laviolette said. "We just kept saying let's get through this game and we've got two days. We have not had anything, and it's been nonstop with the travel and the fact that we're every other day since the playoffs started. It's really good for our group. We need that break, and I feel like it'll give us a push when we go out there for Game 7."

Nieto left the game at the end of the first period. San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said he wouldn't know Nieto's status until Tuesday.

Video: Predators edge Sharks 4-3 in OT, force Game 7

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