The Nashville Predators scored early and often Saturday night, downing the San Jose Sharks 6-2 at Bridgestone Arena. Shea Weber
scored twice, three other players registered multi-point games and goaltender Pekka Rinne
stopped 32 of 34 San Jose shots as the Predators recorded their 36th victory of the season.
sparked a fast start for the Predators when he took a turnover in the neutral zone, created a two-on-one by out-racing defenseman Colin White down the right side and centered to Colin Wilson
, who scored his 14th goal of the season to make it 1-0 just 2:03 into the game.
Weber scored the first of his pair 1:20 later, giving the Predators a lead they would not relinquish. Patrick Marleau put the Sharks on the board at 10:58 of the period but defenseman Kevin Klein
re-established the home side’s two-goal lead five minutes later. Nashville went into the first intermission up 3-1.
San Jose’s last bit of offense came at the beginning of the second period, when Joe Pavelski shocked the home crowd with a tally just 23 seconds into the middle frame. But a power play goal by Weber later in the second, plus diligent third-period work from Rinne and insurance goals by Martin Erat
and Nick Spaling
, secured the win.
The Predators, who have collected five of six available points on their current homestand, wrap up the four-game residency on Monday against the L.A. Kings. Game time is 7 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena. THREE OBSERVATIONSPoints From the Blueline:
Defensemen have scored four of Nashville’s last eight goals. Two of those came from team captain Shea Weber
on Saturday—his second two-goal outing of the season. Weber, now with 14 tallies, is tied with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson for the most goals from a defenseman this season, and tied with Florida’s Jason Garrison for the most power-play goals by a defenseman with eight. Weber’s defensive partner, Ryan Suter
, assisted on Weber’s second goal and now has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in his last eight games.Wilson Heating Up: Colin Wilson
picked up where he left off against the Blues on Thursday night. The 22-year-old scored Nashville’s final goal in that game, then the Preds’ first goal Saturday night versus San Jose. He has three goals in his last four games, and is now three points away from tying his career-high in points.Hornqvist’s Return: Patric Hornqvist
returned to the Predators’ lineup Saturday after missing five games with an upper-body injury. Though he didn’t turn up on the scoresheet, he was a +1 with one shot on net in 13:33 of ice time and had a great view for Kevin Klein
’s game-winner; Hornqvist, who started that sequence was set up in his familiar front-of-the-net location on the play.THREE QUOTESDavid Legwand
: “It was nice obviously to start out and get the lead and play with the lead all night. … Pekka [Rinne] stood strong in the third. We didn’t have very many shots but we’ve got to do a better job at that. Every game there’s going to be something to get better at.”Shea Weber
: “I still think we’ve got to be better, especially early in periods. At the start of the second period we gave up a goal right away and that could have cost us there. They could have got the momentum. But I think we did a good job coming back from that, getting the momentum back.”Colin Wilson
: “I feel how I normally feel but pucks are just going in right now. It’s just the way the season goes; sometimes I’m playing well and pucks aren’t going in. Sometimes I’m playing terrible and pucks are going in. Right now they’re going in and I’m happy about that.”THREE STARS
1. D, Shea Weber
(NSH): 2 goals on 2 shots; 3 hits; 1 blocked shot
2. F, Colin Wilson
(NSH): 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, +2
3. F, Jordin Tootoo
(NSH): 2 assists, team-high 4 shots; 3 hits