San Jose Sharks Return Home For Pivotal Game Five

May 1, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) and right wing Viktor Arvidsson (38) and San Jose Sharks right wing Joel Ward (42) fight for the puck in front of the goal in the second period in game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) and right wing Viktor Arvidsson (38) and San Jose Sharks right wing Joel Ward (42) fight for the puck in front of the goal in the second period in game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

San Jose returns to SAP Center where they will look to re-establish their series lead in Game 5.

After a heartbreaking loss in Game 4, the San Jose Sharks hope a return to home ice is just what the doctor ordered. San Jose struggled at the SAP Center over the course of the year, but seem to have hit their stride of late, winning three-straight playoff contests on home ice.

They’ll look to extend that number to four later tonight when the Sharks play host to the Nashville Predators in a pivotal Game 5 matchup as team teal looks to reclaim their series lead.

It was a marathon affair in Game 4 which saw Nashville even this series at two in dramatic fashion in triple overtime. Now, San Jose will look to respond and hold serve on home ice as team teal doesn’t want to head back to Music City trailing.

Players to Watch

More from Blades of Teal

Sharks: Brent Burns. He’s been the best player for San Jose throughout these entire playoffs and he was a force again in Game 4. Burns notched two goals and logged a team-high 47:35 of ice time as he did his best to will his team to victory. Burns ranks second in the NHL with 13 playoff points (four goals, nine assists) and team teal expects another big effort from the six-foot-five blue liner.

Predators: Colin Wilson. After recording just 24 points during the regular season, Wilson has been phenomenal during these playoffs for Nashville. He’s recorded a point in five-straight games for the Predators, including goals in games three and four. He leads Nashville with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and has been a staggering plus-seven thus far in this series.

Keys to the Game

1. Manage the Puck

San Jose has gotten themselves into trouble in this series when they turn the puck over. The Sharks need to be sound with the puck and make the easy play to relieve pressure.

Force Nashville to carry the puck 200-feet to generate offense rather than feeding their rush via turnovers.

2. Make Life Difficult For Predators

The Predators have played a ton of hockey this postseason as this will be their 12th game in 23 days, not including more than 50 minutes of extra hockey in Game 4. Nashville has already had to make multiple cross-country flights as well to-and-from California so San Jose should be the fresher team.

The Sharks need to use their speed to push the pace and make life difficult for the Predators. Dainius Zubrus will be checking into the lineup to give San Jose another fresh, big body in the center of the ice.

With Nashville relying so heavily on their top players, the Sharks need to use their depth to their advantage and make the Predators earn their ice in Game 5. Take the body and make the blue liners for Nashville defend for extended periods rather than jumping into the offensive attack.

Next: Sharks Keys To Close Out Predators

3. Seize the Moment

The Sharks had so many opportunities to win Game 4, including a controversial no-goal call on Joe Pavelski’s apparent winner. San Jose has to continue to generate quality offensive chances against Pekka Rinne and bear down when they come.

Team teal has been a resilient group all season long and needs to take advantage when the opportunities present themselves tonight.