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Game Seven: Preds vs. Sharks

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

  Game Seven: Nashville Predators vs. San Jose (Series Tied 3-3)
  8 P.M. (CT) | SAP Center
TV: NBCSN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Plaza Party

For the second time in as many rounds, the Nashville Predators are set for Game Seven. The Preds are back in San Jose to face the Sharks tonight, where the winner will advance to the Western Conference Final. Nashville defeated Anaheim earlier this Spring in their first Game Seven in franchise history. Now, they'll look to make it 2-0.

"A lot of times, it’s the simple things you do on the ice; the smart decisions, not complicating things, and like I said, having the experience from three games now [can help],” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “Any experience you can gain inside of the playoffs, inside of life, inside the game of hockey, those are experiences you can use moving forward. There’s a lot of confidence with our group that we can go into San Jose and play a game that we’re proud of.”

The Preds staved off elimination in Game Six when Viktor Arvidsson scored in overtime for a 4-3 victory. It was the second consecutive home game the Preds won in OT, after requiring triple overtime to defeat the Sharks in Game Four. Nashville has now won three elimination games in these playoffs.

Down 2-0 in Game Six, the Predators overcame a multi-goal deficit to win a playoff game for the second time in franchise history (also Game 3 of 2008 WCQ vs. Detroit: trailed 2-0, 5-3 W). Arvidsson became the fourth player in the past 35 years to score his first-career playoff goal in overtime in an elimination game. Arvidsson also became the first player in Nashville Predators franchise history to register his first-career playoff goal in overtime.

Roman Josi notched his first goal of the playoffs in Game Six and 10th point of the postseason. He has six points (1g-5a) in the series. James Neal extended his point streak to four games (2g-3a).

As the club enters Thursday's contest, five current Nashville Predators have skated in multiple Game Sevens: Barret Jackman, Mike Fisher, Neal, Paul Gaustad and Mike Ribeiro have each played in multiple of the seventh games, while Peter Laviolette has been behind the bench of six Game Seven matchups.

Laviolette enters tonight's contest against San Jose with a 13-6 record in games where his teams face elimination. The win percentage (.683), is the second-highest in NHL history behind Al MacNeil. It will also be Laviolette's seventh Game Seven, as he has posted a 5-1 record in his previous six contests.

Colin Wilson leads all Predators in scoring during this year's playoffs, posting 13 points (5g-8a) in 13 games. Wilson has 18 points (10g-8a) in his last 19 postseason games and is currently on a seven-game point streak, a franchise record. Joel Ward previously posted five-game streaks in the playoffs on two occasions during the 2011 postseason.

During the first 17 years of Nashville's franchise history, the club did not play in a single Game Seven. On Thursday night at SAP Center, the team will play its second decisive game in 14 days, with the series even at three games apiece. The Predators and Sharks have each won all the games in their own home building, with Nashville posting victories in Game Three, Four and Six at Bridgestone Arena.
Per Elias, should Nashville win on Thursday night, they would become the seventh team in NHL history to post multiple Game Seven road victories in the same year. Los Angeles accomplished that feat in 2014 (three times). Others include the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, 2003 Minnesota Wild, 2009 Carolina Hurricanes, 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins and the 2010 Montreal Canadiens.
This will be the 10th Game Seven in Sharks history. The Sharks have a 5-4 record, including losses in two-straight games (both versus Los Angeles). They have skated in three Game Sevens at SAP Center, winning two of the contests.

Notes: Starting at 7 p.m. (CT), Predators fans are invited to watch Game Seven on the Bridgestone Arena plaza. Food trucks, Gnash and other fun events will be on hand. Fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to watch the game on the big screen (it is also advised to monitor @PredsNHL on Twitter for the latest updates on the rain contingency plan).

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