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Game Two: Preds vs. Sharks

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

  Game Two: Nashville Predators vs. San Jose (SJS Leads Series 1-0)
  7 P.M. (CT) | SAP Center
TV: NBCSN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Open House

After falling in Game One, the Nashville Predators will look to even up their series with the San Jose Sharks tonight in Game Two from the SAP Center. The Sharks topped the Preds 5-2 on Friday night in the first meeting of the Round Two Western Conference series.

The Preds will look to improve areas of their game in tonight’s contest, having a better idea of what to expect now that they’ve seen their new opponent up close.

“Part of getting to know your opponent is getting through a game,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ve done some things against them, and they’ve done some things against us. Now you can go back and look at the game as opposed to what we were doing against Anaheim or what they were doing against L.A., or a game back in game No. 68 or game No. 42. We’ll look to make adjustments and improvements and get better.”

Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the playoffs and first of the series to open the scoring in Game One. He now has 20 postseason goals in his career, becoming the 48th active player – and one of 15 players remaining in the playoffs – to score 20 playoff goals. Fisher ended the night with three shots and led the team in faceoffs (64 percent), winning 14-of-22 draws.

Ryan Johansen notched his second goal of the playoffs late in the third period. He added an assist to notch his third-career, multi-point postseason game (1g-1a). Johansen has four points (1g-3a) in the past four games.

Defenseman Mattias Ekholm posted his first-career playoff assist and third point of the postseason. Roman Josi added his fourth helper of the playoffs and first of the series. Josi finished the game with a team-leading 26:58 in time-on-ice and three shots. Winger Colin Wilson recorded an assist and now leads the team in playoff scoring with six points (2g-4a).

Preds Captain Shea Weber remains one goal away from tying David Legwand for the top spot on the franchise’s all-time playoff goals list with 13. Weber is currently in second with 12, four ahead of Wilson, who is tied for fourth with eight postseason goals.

Weber and Johansen are tied for second on the team with five points each this postseason, followed by Josi with four points. Ekholm, Filip Forsberg and James Neal have three points apiece in these playoffs; Weber, Wilson, Neal, Ekholm, Johansen and Fisher are tied for the club lead with two goals each. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has four wins in the current postseason with a 2.53 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.

Defenseman Brent Burns leads the Sharks with 10 points in the playoffs, followed by Logan Couture with eight points and Joe Pavelski with seven. Pavelski leads the club with five goals, while Couture has three, two of which came in Game One against the Preds. Martin Jones is 5-1 in goal with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

Nashville has trailed a series 1-0 on seven occasions, losing each of the previous six series. The Predators have tied the series at 1-1 three times (2015, 2011, 2007), and gone down 0-2 on three occasions (2012, 2008, 2004).
When starting a playoff series on the road, Nashville has come away with a split three times, extending each of those series to six games (one win, two losses). In the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals, Nashville started the series in Anaheim, splitting 1-1 before returning to Nashville and eventually winning in six games.
Friday’s loss was the fifth time the Predators have lost a postseason game in San Jose. They went a combined 0-4 on the road in their 2006 and 2007 series against San Jose and are now 2-9 all-time in postseason games against the Sharks.

The series returns to Nashville for Games Three and Four, beginning on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

Notes: Preds fans are invited to attend a Predators Open House starting at 6 p.m. (CT) at Bridgestone Arena this evening. Free popcorn, soda, public skate (must bring own skates) and locker room tours will be available. Fans can also select their seat for the 2016-17 season and watch the game on the megatron starting at 7 p.m. More details are available here.

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