The Joes give Sharks 2-0 lead on Predators

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton scored goals in the third period as the San Jose Sharks downed Nashville 3-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Second Round Sunday night at sold-out SAP Center.
Game Three will be held Tuesday in Nashville. Unless the Sharks finish the series in four games, Nashville comes back to San Jose Saturday night for Game Five.
Goaltender Martin Jones improved to 6-1 in Stanley Cup contests, making 37 saves.
“He was excellent tonight,” said San Jose coach Peter DeBoer of Jones. “He was our best player. There was excellent goaltending on both ends.”
Jones credited the San Jose penalty-kill unit for keeping the Predators without a power play.
“The penalty kill was good all night. They blocked a lot of shots.”
The Sharks netted a power play goal in the second period for a 1-0 lead, setting the stage for the four-goal final period.
Nashville, fashioning a 39-25 edge in shots on net for the game, finally broke through the San Jose defense at 12:56 of the third period for the equalizer. Mattias Ekholm lined a shot from the high slot into the top right corner of the net off a feed from Colin Wilson.
San Jose went back on top at the 17:20 mark. Matt Nieto’s shot from the left flank left a rebound between the blue ice and the right circle. Pavelski, in position to await the rebound, quickly turned and flicked the puck into the net just before defenseman Shea Weber was able to clear the puck.
Nashville pulled its goaltender with 2:09 left in the third period. Thornton made it 3-1 with an empty-net goal at 19:04, set up by a Logan Couture assist.
The Predators scraped together a final goal, Ryan Johansen scoring with 3.6 seconds left.
“Their desperation level was a little higher than ours in the second and third periods but we found a way to weather the storm,” added DeBoer.
Both teams were penalized for having too any men on the ice during the second period. While San Jose was able to complete its penalty kill, San Jose capitalized on the Nashville miscue to score 35 seconds into the power play.
Predator Roman Josi hustled off the ice during a line change, but Josi jumped into the San Jose bench, prompting the violation.
Brent Burns whistled a low shot from the left slot that Pavelski deflected in front of the Nashville crease. Goaltender Pekka Rinne made the initial stop but Couture collected the rebound and sent the puck past Rinne for the 1-0 advantage.
“We were opportunistic,” said DeBoer. We won the special teams battle.”