NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 7th (All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (27-10-6) at Nashville Predators (18-19-6), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will try to cap a three-game road trip on a positive note when they visit the sliding Nashville Predators for Tuesday's clash at Bridgestone Arena.
The Sharks, winners of six of their last eight games, are 1-1-0 so far on their swing and are coming off Sunday's shootout win in Chicago. San Jose trailed 2-1 early in the third period, but wound up notching an impressive 3-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions,
San Jose went ahead 1-0 on Jason Demers goal midway through the first and the score stayed that way until Chicago tallied twice early in the third period. Niklas Hjalmarsson scored 1:27 into the third to tie it and Michal Rozsival pushed the Blackhawks in front at the 4:01 mark.
However, Brent Burns' 14th marker of the season evened things at 2-2 with 11:10 left in the third. The equalizer allowed San Jose to eventually win in the shootout, as Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski both scored in the decisive phase to help the Sharks gain the extra point.
Alex Stalock stopped 33-of-35 shots for San Jose through regulation and overtime and then denied both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp in the shootout.
"In my opinion, (Chicago) and (the Anaheim Ducks) are the best two teams in the (Western Conference), so to come in here in their building and beat them, it's a huge feather in our cap," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said.
The win was only the second in the last five road games for San Jose, which improved to 12-9-3 as the guest this season,
The Sharks announced some bad news regarding Couture, revealing Tuesday that the key forward needs to have surgery for a lingering upper-body injury. Couture is scheduled to undergo the procedure on Wednesday and reports suggest he will miss 3-to-4 weeks of action.
"For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper body injury," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem."
Couture has 14 goals and 21 assists in 43 games this season.
Nashville recently lost all three games of a three-game road trip, going 0-1-2 on a tour of Eastern Conference cities. The Preds lost in overtime at Boston and suffered a shootout loss against Florida before losing Sunday in regulation versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner with 3:31 remaining in the third to lift the Hurricanes to a 2-1 win over Nashville.
The Predators hope to get back on track tonight when they begin a five-game stay at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville is 10-8-3 on home ice this season compared to an 8-11-3 mark everywhere else.
Patric Hornqvist scored the lone goal for the Predators on Sunday, as the club lost for the seventh time in nine games. Carter Hutton made 23 saves in a losing effort.
"They put a lot into it. We should have had five out of six points on this trip. We come back with two and that's discouraging," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz.
The Predators, however, have fared well in recent meetings versus San Jose, winning three of four and five of the last seven games in this series. The Sharks also have lost three straight in the Music City and Nashville holds a 6-2-1 record in the past nine meetings at Bridgestone Arena.
01/07 11:22:38 ET