The Nashville Predators (6-4-2) reach the midpoint in their five game "CMA" road trip tonight at 9:30 p.m (FS-TN) when they play the San Jose Sharks (7-4-0) at the HP Pavilion aka the "Shark Tank" in a battle of Western Conference playoff regulars.
This is the Predators' first visit to San Jose this season after going 1-0-1 last year and 8-11-5 over the course of the franchise. The Preds lost to the Sharks 3-1 in Nashville on October 25.
The Predators played well enough to get a point in the last meeting, according to Barry Trotz. Since that game the team has not lost in regulation, going 3-0-1. In the same period, the Sharks have gone 3-1.
Both teams have momentum going into tonight's game, each having won on Thursday night. The Preds beat the Coyotes in Phoenix 3-0 and the Sharks beat the Pens, at home, 4-3 in a shootout.
Patric Hornqvist and Craig Smith have been hot lately for Nashville and David Legwand leads the team in points (3g, 9a). Hornqvist has scored goals in four straight games and Smith has six points (2g, 4a) in his last six games and is second (4g, 6a) to Legwand for the team points lead.
Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals and points (8g, 5a, 13p) while Ryane Clowe (4g, 5a), Joe Thornton (3g, 6a), and Patrick Marleau (3g, 6a) all have nine points.
Pekka Rinne (6-4-2, 2.28, .929) will be in net for the Predators after having played all but forty minutes of the season and has clearly been the team's MVP, keeping them in games when the other team was clearly playing better.
Antti Niemi (4-2-0, 2.96, .893) will get the start for the Sharks in spite of a poor effort on Thursday when Thomas Greiss entered the game in relief just 2:04 into the contest after Niemi gave up two goals on six shots.
According to Josh Cooper, Kevin Klein (ankle) and Sergei Kostitsyn (lower body muscle issue) are considered game-time decisions so Teemu Laakso could see his first action in six games if Klein cannot go.
The Preds will move on to the Southland after tonight's contest where they will play the Kings on Tuesday and the Ducks on Wednesday before returning home for the big 1000th game celebration against Montreal on Saturday, November 12.
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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass