NHL

Tue, Jan 7, 2014 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Sharks-Predators Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Coach Todd McLellan may not expect flawless play, but the San Jose Sharks haven't won back-to-back road games for nearly two months.

Facing the last-place Nashville Predators could provide an ideal chance to make that happen, though San Jose won't have center Logan Couture available to help.

The Sharks attempt to conclude this three-game trip with another victory while trying to avoid a fourth straight loss at Nashville on Tuesday night.

San Jose (27-10-6) is second in the Pacific Division, but it's dropped eight of 12 as the visitor since winning three straight from Nov. 12-15.

The Sharks are hoping Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago helps them end their recent road woes. That impressive performance came a night after they opened the trip by giving up the first four goals in a 4-3 loss to Colorado.

"It's hard to demand perfection, but you have to demand as close as you can get to that," McLellan said. "The players gave us that (Sunday). It still was a tough task. To score only two and win a game against Chicago, you've done something pretty well."

San Jose hasn't done much well at Nashville, losing three straight visits while being outscored 10-4. They lost the most recent matchup there 3-2 on Dec. 14 despite outshooting the Predators 38-23 and 20-7 in the third period.

Joe Thornton had an assist in that meeting, giving him 42 with 61 points in 50 career matchups, including the playoffs. That also includes 30 points in 26 visits to Nashville (18-19-6).

Thornton's 43 assists on the season lead the NHL, and he's accumulated 12 of them during an eight-game point streak.

Unlike Thornton, Brent Burns is rarely a factor against the Predators, getting six points in 23 career meetings and none for the last nine.

The winger, however, may be poised to end that drought since he has five goals and four assists over the past seven games after finding the net Sunday. Burns' 14 goals on the season are three shy of his career high, set with Minnesota in 2010-11.

Couture also has 14 goals along with 35 points, but he won't be adding to those totals due to an upper-body injury that will require surgery. General manager Doug Wilson said that Couture has been playing with the injury for several weeks and decided to have surgery when it did not respond as hoped.

Wilson said the team will have a better idea after the operation of how much time Couture will miss. The center had a four-game goal streak snapped Sunday, but he recorded an assist and the shootout winner against the Blackhawks.

The Predators are opening a five-game homestand after an 0-1-2 trip ended with a 2-1 road loss to Carolina on Sunday.

"We should have had five or six points out of this trip," coach Barry Trotz said. "We came away with two, and that's discouraging. We put ourselves in the position to get points, so we just need a save."

Goaltenders Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec continue to struggle to replace Pekka Rinne, who is out indefinitely with a hip infection.

Hutton is 0-4-1 with a 3.64 goals-against average in his last six games, getting pulled twice. He drew Trotz's ire Sunday when he gave up the decisive goal to Jeff Skinner with 3:31 left in the third period.

"I thought we really held them down to no chances," Trotz said. "We got zero saves. (Skinner's goal) wasn't much of a shot at all."

Mazanec, though, has given up seven goals while losing his last two games.

Shea Weber has one goal and four assists in his last three games. He has 15 points in 18 career meetings - including the postseason - with San Jose after getting an assist in last month's matchup.

Tagged: Sharks, Predators, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt