Pavelski’s 4 points in the third lift Sharks by Preds 8-5

SAN JOSE
– Six goals in the third period lifted the San Jose Sharks to an
8-5 victory over the Nashville Predators in a Western Conference
match-up in front of a full house at HP Pavilion.
SAN JOSE – Six goals in the third period lifted the San Jose Sharks to an 8-5 victory over the Nashville Predators in a Western Conference match-up in front of a full house at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks erased a second intermission deficit for the third consecutive game to move atop the conference standings with 95 points, two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville missed a chance to solidify hold on seventh place in the conference by losing for the third time in four outings.

Joe Pavelski tied a franchise record with four points in the wild third period, striking for two goals along with two assists.

San Jose completes a five-game homestand Saturday at 1pm opposite the Florida Panthers.

The Sharks did not appear ready to top the Predators by the end of the second period as the visitors held a 34-11 edge in shots on net on the way to a 4-2 lead.

San Jose did not take a lead until 11:16 of the third period when Pavelski notched the first of two goals in the stanza when he snapped a shot inside the top right post past goalie Dan Ellis.

Pavelski finally closed out Ellis’ night at 14:40 of the third when an athletic spin move resulted in the center pulling a shot past Ellis and into the net for a 6-5 lead. Pekka Rinne was called on to handle the rest of the netminding for Nashville, giving up Patrick Marleau’s 40th of the season at 17:34 of the third.

Adding to the personal and franchise marks was defenseman Jay Leatch, who produced his first NHL goal (in 58 games) with a shot from the San Jose zone into an empty net with 25.2 seconds to play.

Nashville built a 13-0 edge in shots on net by the time Patric Hornqvist scored at 9:11 on a Predator power play. Shea Weber’s hard shot from the top of the slot bounded off Pavelski and in front of the crease for Hornqvist, the last player selected in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, to drill the goal past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose responded with Dany Heatley’s 35th of the season at 14:10, a slapshot from inside the right circle off a feed from Joe Thornton.

After Hornqvist set up at the edge of the crease to redirect Francis Bouillon’s centering pass behind Nabokov for a 2-1 edge at 4:29 of the second, San Jose needed 19 seconds of power play to draw even at 2-2 on Thornton’s quick shot over Ellis’ left pad at 6:11.

The Predators completed the scoring with a tip at the front of the crease by JP Dumont at 11:31, then Colin Wilson’s shot from 11 feet out at 15:22.

Heatlet buried his 36th of the campaign at 3:40 to start the Sharks comeback in the third period. Manny Malhotra’s close-range goal made it 4-4 at 5:16. After Pavelski’s first goal of the game, Dumont reached 500 points for a career with a tying goal.

San Jose begins a six-game roadtrip Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks.

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