Mar 2, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nashville Predators right winger Martin Erat (10) shoots on San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) during the first period in a game at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks Take On Nashville Predators In Trap Game: Game Preview

If the San Jose Sharks want to find out how seriously they should take the Nashville Predators, all they have to do is ask the Anaheim Ducks.

The Predators, on the brink of elimination from playoff contention, are playing desperate, and it showed in their stunning 5-2 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Ducks 5-2 on Friday night. The Ducks’ loss kept them at 108 points, one ahead of the Sharks, but the Ducks have a game in hand on San Jose.

Meanwhile, the Sharks have been guilty of going into cruise-control the past few games after already clinching a playoff spot. They did defeat the Kings 2-1 on Thursday in a potential playoff preview, and they’ll need to play with the same kind of intensity to close out the season strong.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks:

  • Goals for per game: 2.94 (7th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.33 (4th)
  • Shots per game: 34.8 (1st)
  • Shots against per game: 27.7 (6th)
  • Penalty minutes: 719 (5th)
  • Power play percentage: 17.6% (19th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 84.4% (7th)

Predators:

  • Goals for per game: 2.51 (22nd)
  • Goals against per game: 2.90 (T-24th)
  • Shots per game: 29.1 (23rd)
  • Shots against per game: 28.9 (11th)
  • Penalty minutes: 770 (T-8th)
  • Power play percentage: 18.9% (11th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 79.6% (25th)

Top Performers

Sharks: Joe Pavelski (39 G, 37 A), Joe Thornton (11 G, 63 A), Patrick Marleau (32 G, 35 A)

Predators: Shea Weber (21 G, 30 A), Patrick Hornqvist (18 G, 28 A), Mike Fisher (20 G, 25 A)

Injury Report

Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee), Adam Burish (hand) and Raffi Torres (knee) are out.

Predators: Paul Gaustad (upper body) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) are day-to-day.

Probable Lines

SAN JOSE (49-20-9)

Forwards 

Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan CoutureTommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – James SheppardTyler Kennedy
Marty Havlat – Andrew DesjardinsMike Brown

Defensemen

Marc-Edouard VlasicJason Demers
Scott HannanDan Boyle
Brad StuartJustin Braun

Goalies

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

NASHVILLE (34-32-11)

Forwards 

Matt Cullen – Mike Fisher – Patric Hornqvist
Gabriel BourqueCalle JarnkrokCraig Smith
Mark Van Gulder – Colin WilsonViktor Stalberg
Rich CluneColton SissonsEric Nystrom

Defensemen

Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Michael Del ZottoVictor Bartley
Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis

Goalies

Pekka Rinne
Carter Hutton

Game Info

Opening Face-off: 7:30pm PST

Location: SAP Center, San Jose, CA

TV: LOCAL

Tags: San Jose Sharks

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