The San Jose Sharks looked to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their Stanley Cup Playoffs series with Nashville on Wednesday night.
Nashville came up with two early shots by Paul Kariya and J.P. Dumont, but it was Team Teal who came up with the opening tally.
An initial shot by Jonathan Cheechoo was rebuffed, but when most assumed the puck was covered by Tomas Vokoun, Joe Thornton
was the first to locate it behind the net. The NHL’s second leading scorer then fed Milan Michalek to the left side of Vokoun and he banged in his third of the playoffs.
Nabokov turned away two excellent Nashville chances on the power play, while Vokoun had a bit of lady luck on his side when Joe Pavelski
rang one off the post for Team Teal.
San Jose looked to add to their lead when they took to their opening power play, but at the two minute’s conclusion, it was Nashville on the rush. A trailer on a late developing three-on-two seemed to have an open corner to pick, but Nabokov got his shoulder over just in time and the Sharks maintained their lead.
Nashville kept pressing and on a following rush, Bill Guerin bumped into Nabokov, but Nabokov still managed to make the stop.
The Predators were putting up more shots, but the quality chances were virtually even when Mike Grier clanged one of the post late in the first period.
Despite a 14-5 shot advantage, the Sharks led 1-0 after 20 minutes of action.
Game 5 will take place Friday at 5 p.m. and will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.