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Game Day: Sharks vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(43-29-6) San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators (39-26-13)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #SJSvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Golden Saturday | Team Poster Giveaway


The Nashville Predators return to Music City for their final home stand of the 2015-16 regular season, and it all begins when they host the San Jose Sharks tonight on a Golden Saturday.

The Predators are coming off a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday and have dropped three-straight games in regulation for the first time since mid-January. Even so, the Preds have 91 points on the season and currently sit in the Western Conference's first Wild Card spot. San Jose suffered a 4-2 loss to Vancouver on Thursday and are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis did not play for Nashville on Thursday due to an upper-body injury. Blueliner Stefan Elliott took his place while making his Predators debut. The Predators did not practice on Friday.

Preds forwards Filip Forsberg and James Neal have each tallied 31 goals on the season and trail Jason Arnott (33) to tie the franchise record for most goals in a single season. Forsberg and Neal became the fifth and sixth players in franchise history to score 30 in a single season, and it's the second time that the team has had two, 30-goal scorers in one campaign. The only other time that the Preds had multiple 30-goal scorers was 2005-06, when Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya each notched 31.

Of Neal's 31 goals, 27 have come at even-strength. He is the League leader and current franchise record holder in that category. Forsberg, who has 23 even-strength tallies, is just four away from tying Neal.

Captain Shea Weber is one goal shy of tying the franchise record for most power-play goals in a single season. Weber has tallied 13 with the man advantage, with the franchise record being 14 set by Andy Delmore and Kariya.

Defenseman Roman Josi has 44 helpers this season, which is the single-season franchise record for most assists by a defenseman. The record previously belonged to Kimmo Timonen, who posted 42 assists during the 2006-07 season. Josi’s 57 points on the season (13g-44a) are also a career high, and give him the single-season record for most points in a single season by a Nashville Predators defenseman. The previous record holder was Weber, who notched 56 points in 2013-14. Since Feb. 1, Josi has registered 22 points in 26 games (3g-19a), which is second only to Forsberg’s 27 points in that span.

Forsberg continues to lead Nashville with 59 points, followed by Josi at 57 and Neal with 54. Mike Ribeiro has 49 points on the season, one better than Weber's 48. Forsberg and Neal are tied for the team lead in goals with 31; Craig Smith has hit the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive season. Pekka Rinne is 32-21-10 in net for the Preds this season.

Forsberg recorded three points in his last game versus the Sharks (1g-2a), while Calle Jarnkrok is on a two-game goal streak versus the Sharks (2g). Ryan Johansen is on a three-game point streak against San Jose (1g-4a).

Joe Thornton is the top point-getter for the Sharks with 76, including 58 assists on the season. Joe Pavelski has 36 goals and 75 points, while defenseman Brent Burns has 27 goals and 73 points. Patrick Marleau and former Pred Joel Ward have both hit the 20-goal mark this season. Martin Jones owns a 36-22-4 mark for the Sharks in goal.

Tonight marks the third and final meeting of the regular season between the two; Nashville has won both meetings this season and have won six-straight games versus the Sharks at home dating back to February 25, 2012. All-time, Nashville is 30-25-8 against San Jose, including an 18-11-2 mark at home.

All fans wearing Gold and attending tonight's game will receive a 2015-16 team poster courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Nashville.


Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi


What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown


Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette


Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Defensemen Ryan Ellis (upper-body) and Anthony Bitetto (lower-body) participated in the Predators morning skate on Saturday.


Forwards
Calle Jarnkrok Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Mike Fisher Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki Paul Gaustad Colton Sissons
Defense
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm Petter Granberg
Barret Jackman Stefan Elliott

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Goaltenders: Carter Hutton is the projected starter in net after leaving the morning skate first. Pekka Rinne will serve as the backup.

Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto (lower-body), (D) Ryan Ellis (upper-body), (F) Eric Nystrom (F) Gabriel Bourque (upper-body), (F) Austin Watson


San Jose Sharks:

Forwards
Tomas Hertl Joe Thornton Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi Logan Couture Joel Ward
Melker Karlsson Patrick Marleau Tommy Wingels
Nick Spaling Chris Tierney Dainius Zubrus
Defense
Paul Martin Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon Roman Polak
Dillon Demelo Justin Braun

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Goaltenders: James Reimer is the projected starter in net with Martin Jones serving as the backup.

Extra: (F) Matt Tennyson, (F) Matt Nieto, (D) Marc-Edouard Vlasic, (F) Micheal Haley

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