The Nashville Predators extended their current win streak to three games with a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night in San Jose. The win didn't come easy as the Preds went to a shootout for the second straight game and advanced to overtime for the third straight time. J.P. Dumont scored the game-deciding shootout goal as the Predators regained the NHL points lead with their 43rd victory of the season.
It was a game of special teams as each club connected for two power-play goals in the contest. The Sharks, who entered the game tied with Montreal for the top-rated power play in the league (23.0%), opened the scoring when Steve Bernier tipped Milan Michalek's shot from the point past Tomas Vokoun at 12:07 of the first period. With Kimmo Timonen in the box serving a cross-checking penalty, Bernier's shot deflected off Preds' defenseman Dan Hamhuis' stick before Michalek tipped it into the Nashville net.
The Predators then got on the board at 16:34 of the first when Vern Fiddler redirected Timonen's shot from the point to notch his career-high ninth goal of the season. It was Fiddler's second straight game in which he found the back of the net.
The Sharks answered with another power-play tally with 2:10 remaining in the first period when rookie Matt Carle tipped Christian Ehrhoff's slapshot from the point past Vokoun to make it 2-1.
At 12:07 of the second period, the Preds evened things up once again when Martin Erat lasered a wrist shot glove high on Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov on the power play to make it 2-2. Erat, who picked up his 14th goal of the season, rifled the shot from the top of the face-off circle after skating out from behind the San Jose net. Timonen and Peter Forsberg assisted on the play.
The Predators then grabbed a 3-2 lead with just 5:07 remaining in the third when rookie Alexander Radulov tipped in Shea Weber's blast from the point on Nashville's fifth power-play of the night.
Just 58 seconds after Radulov's goal, the Sharks tied it when Marc-Edouard Vlasic beat Vokoun with a wrist shot from the slot. Nashville's Paul Kariya almost ended the game with less than one second left in overtime when he launched a one-timer from the slot, but Nabokov made a sprawling glove save to send the game to a shootout.
Radulov slipped a backhander between Nabokov's legs and Joe Pavelski beat Vokoun with a wrist shot to the stick side in the shootout, but it was Dumont's low wrister that beat Nabakov through the five hole in the fourth round that sealed Nashville's second straight shootout win.