Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preds Get Revenge in 4-3 Win Over Sharks

Barry Trotz Post Game Comments

Locker Room Audio from Joel Ward, David Legwand, and Pekka Rinne

Sharks Locker Room Reaction from Coach Todd McLellan, Scotty Nichol, and Thomas Greiss

The Nashville Predators were able to revenge last week's heart-breaking loss in San Jose by defeating the Sharks 4-3 at the Sommet Center on Tuesday night.

The Predators never fell behind to the Sharks after Steve Sullivan scored on a five on three power play at 13:19 in the first period. The shot was almost a carbon copy of Sully's PP goal against the Habs on Saturday night.

Ex-Predator Scotty Nichol came back to score a short-handed goal less than a minute later to tie the game 1-1. Before the period ended, Jerred Smithson gave the Preds a 2-1 lead on a feed from David Legwand.

The Preds scored another power play goal at 8:16 in the second period on a deflection by Joel Ward. David Legwand scored less than three minutes later to give the Preds a 4-1 lead heading into the final period.

The Sharks showed why they have the best record in hockey as they fought back with a goal by Joe Thornton with less than a minute left in the second period. The Preds were clearly scrambling as the period closed.

Both defenses stiffed in the final period with no scoring until Patrick Marleau scored with 52 ticks left on the clock. In spite of some odd officiating, the Preds were able to hold on for the rest of the period to claim the victory.

After the game, Preds Coach Barry Trotz was livid over the officials giving San Jose the equivalent of two free time outs in the last minute of the game as the clock was being reset. "The officials made a home ice advantage into a home ice disadvantage (by resetting the clock twice), Trotz exclaimed. "It allowed them to have their top guys on the ice the last fifty seconds of the game and they are probably the most dangerous five guys you could put on the ice."

Pekka Rinne was solid in goal for the Predators, stopping 29 of 32 Sharks shots. "We had to be focused all sixty minutes," Rinne said. "Those games really build up your confidence and gives you a good feeling about yourself and about your team mates."

Coming in to the game, the Sharks had not lost in regulation in 12 games, going 9-0-3. They had clearly been playing the best team in the league to this point in the season. The Preds also have been playing well going 8-3 since their early season six game losing streak.

Ex-Predator Scotty Nichol made his return to the Sommet Center for the first time since signing with the Sharks in the off-season. Nichol scored a goal and was involved in several scuffles with his old team mates and even gave Pekka Rinne a bit of a shot to the head at one point. After the game Nichol put the game in perspective, "Give them credit, they played well and we'll get them next time."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan was disappointed with his team's play but was realistic saying, "This Nashville team... you give them four goals, and they win."

The Predators will have little time to bask in their efforts as the New Jersey Devils will arrive in Nashville on Wednesday to prepare for Thursday match-up with the Preds. The Devils currently own the best record in the East so it won't get any easier for this hot Predator team.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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