San Jose will open their Western Conference semifinals series at home on Friday night as Nashville defeated Anaheim in Game 7.
Finally, the San Jose Sharks know who their opponent will be in round two. The next opposition standing in the way of team teal in their quest for the Stanley Cup is the Nashville Predators following their thrilling 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks last night in Game 7.
Since Nashville was a wild card team, the Sharks now own home-ice advantage in this second-round series with things kicking off tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. PDT at the SAP Center.
This will be the third all-time meeting in the postseason between these two franchises as they met in consecutive season in the first round back in 2005-06 and 2006-07. San Jose won both series in five games and will be looking for a similar result as these two teams renew acquaintances this year.
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Nashville won the season series by taking two of the three games against team teal this season, with the Sharks lone victory coming in a shootout back on April 2nd. The Predators outscored San Jose by a 10-5 margin during those three contests.
A big key to watch early on in this series is if the Sharks show any signs of rust, while keep an eye on the Predators to see if there are any signs of fatigue having gone through a physical, grueling seven-game series against Anaheim.
San Jose hasn’t always been sharp coming off extended breaks, and they don’t want to give Nashville any sort of momentum by allowing them to steal a game early on.
This will be a series of contrasting styles as the Sharks are a team that likes to possess the puck and create plenty of offensive chances, while the Predators are a team that’s comfortable defending and generates much of their attack from their blue line.
San Jose had no problems finding the back of the net in round one, ranking third in the playoffs at 3.20 goals per game. Meanwhile, Nashville struggled at times to produce consistent offense ranking 13th overall with 2.00 goals per game in the first round, last amongst the remaining playoff teams.
Here’s the schedule breakdown for this series as team teal looks to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since the 2010-11 season:
Game 1 (Friday, April 29th): Sharks vs. Predators, SAP Center, 7:30 p.m. PDT
Game 2 (Sunday, May 1st): Sharks vs. Predators, SAP Center, 5:00 p.m. PDT
Game 3 (Tuesday, May 3rd): Sharks @ Predators, Bridgestone Arena, 6:00 p.m. PDT
Game 4 (Thursday, May 5th): Sharks @ Predators, Bridgestone Arena, 6:00 p.m. PDT
Game 5 (Saturday, May 7th): Sharks vs. Predators, SAP Center, TBD
Game 6 (Monday, May 9th): Sharks @ Predators, Bridgestone Arena, TBD
Game 7 (Thursday, May 12th): Sharks vs. Predators, SAP Center, TBD
It feels like it’s been a month since the Sharks have last played, but it’s time to get fired back up as San Jose has a real opportunity to make a deep playoff run. With three of the big boys already eliminated out West, there could be no better time for the Sharks to advance to their first Stanley Cup Finals.