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Game Day: Sharks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(27-19-4) San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators (24-20-8)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #SJSvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Golden Saturday

The Nashville Predators continue their four-game home stand tonight, as they host the San Jose Sharks on a Golden Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds are looking for their first home victory of the month after falling in their two previous contests, including a 6-3 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. San Jose topped St. Louis by a 3-1 final in their most recent outing.

Preds forward Mike Ribeiro is scheduled to play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Sharks and will become the 22nd active NHLer to play in 1,000 games, as well as the 300th all-time to reach the mark. Ribeiro was Montreal's second-round selection (45th overall) in the 1998 NHL Draft and ranks sixth among members of that class in points (749), behind Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Tanguay and Scott Gomez.

In his career, Ribeiro has amassed 223 goals, 526 assists totaling 749 points. Ribeiro is one of only two players to post 11 consecutive, 45-point seasons, dating back to the 2003-04 season, joining Martin St. Louis. He played his first-career NHL game on Oct. 2, 1999, against the Toronto Maple Leafs and scored his first-career NHL goal against Toronto's Curtis Joseph on Oct. 23, 1999. Ribeiro represented the Dallas Stars at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Forward Ryan Johansen registered his 10th goal of the season on Thursday - which was also his first goal at Bridgestone Arena as a member of the Preds - as well as his 28th helper to give him three points in his last three games. Calle Jarnkrok notched his eighth goal of the season to set a career high in goals in a single season.

Defenseman Roman Josi leads Nashville in points with 37, including 10 goals. Captain Shea Weber is second on the team with 33 points, followed by Mike Ribeiro and James Neal who have 31 each. Neal's 18 goals are tops on the club; Filip Forsberg has 14 tallies on the season and Weber has 13. Center Ryan Johansen has 12 points in 12 games since joining the Preds last month, and 39 points overall this season. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 19-17-7 this season and is 9-5-4 all-time versus the Sharks.

Johansen has a point in seven of his last eight games against San Jose (7g-3a), and Paul Gaustad has a point in two of his last three outings versus the Sharks. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm scored his first-career NHL goal on Jan. 7, 2014, against San Jose and goaltender Carter Hutton registered his first-career NHL shutout on April 5, 2014, against San Jose.

Center Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals and points with 25 and 51, respectively. Defenseman Brent Burns, who along with Pavelski represented the Sharks during All-Star Weekend in Nashville, is second on the team in points with 44, including 18 goals. Joe Thornton has 42 points, while Patrick Marleau and former Pred Joel Ward have 15 goals apiece. Martin Jones is 24-14-3 on the season with a .915 save percentage.

Tonight is the second of three meetings on the season between the two clubs. Nashville won the first contest 2-1 on Oct. 28 at SAP Center. Rinne made 20-of-21 saves and Jarnkrok scored his first goal of the season, the game winner, in the third period of the game to help lead the team to victory.
The Predators have a 2-2-0 record against the Sharks in the last four games dating back to last season. All time, Nashville has a 29-25-8 record against the Sharks, including a 17-11-2 record at Bridgestone Arena.

Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Mike Ribeiro, Anthony Bitetto and Calle Jarnkrok

What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown

Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette

Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Calle Jarnkrok Ryan Johansen James Neal
Miikka Salomaki Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Viktor Arvidsson
Austin Watson Paul Gaustad Cody Bass
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman Anthony BItetto


Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the expected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Petter Granberg, (F) Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body), (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Eric Nystrom (IR; lower-body)

San Jose Sharks:

Tomas Hertl Joe Thornton Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto Patrick Marleau Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi Logan Couture Tommy Wingels
Dainius Zubrus Chris Tierney Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon Dillon Demelo


Goaltenders: Martin Jones is the expected starter in net with Alex Stalock serving as the backup.

Extra: (F) Mike Brown, (F) Matt Tennyson

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