Saros makes 24 saves, Predators beat skidding Sharks 3-1

December 11, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Juuse Saros made sure San Jose's losing streak continued.

Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and an assist in the third period, Saros made 24 saves and the Nashville Predators defeated the slumping Sharks 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Nick Bonino and Ryan Johansen also scored in the third for the Predators, winners of two straight.

“It was a playoff game out there. It had that feel to it,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re trying to fight our way up and they’re coming from games where they wish they were having more success. When that happens inside of a room, things get ratcheted up with intensity.”

Timo Meier scored and Martin Jones made 28 saves for the Sharks, who have lost five in a row — including all four on the road trip they just finished.

“I thought we had our opportunities,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we defended pretty well tonight. We’re still taking too many penalties, but it was our best 60-minute effort of the trip. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get something to show for it.”

Saros was under pressure for most of the final 40 minutes. His best save came with 10:55 remaining when he turned aside Barclay Goodrow’s penalty shot. Goodrow was awarded the chance after being slashed by Nashville’s Filip Forsberg on a short-handed breakaway.

Goodrow skated wide to the right side before cutting toward the slot and trying a wrist shot that Saros stopped with his left pad.

“I tried to make that save to keep the lead there, so (I was) happy to make the save,” Saros said. “I just tried to focus on the puck and stay patient.”

Bonino scored the first goal of the game at 4:24 of the third.

Mikael Granlund had the puck behind the San Jose net and slipped a quick pass to Bonino in the slot. Bonino had a little open space and snapped off a quick wrist shot that beat Jones on the short side.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bonino leads the Predators in goals this season with 12.

Johansen doubled the Nashville lead with 7:01 remaining on a power-play goal, converting the rebound of his own shot.

The Sharks challenged for goaltender interference, but after a quick video review the goal was allowed to stand.

“Great team win,” Johansen said. “They had their chances and Juice made some huge saves and we had a couple in the third and found a way to get some goals and close out the win.”

Meier ended Saros' shutout bid with 1:58 remaining, tapping in the rebound of Tomas Hertl's shot with Jones pulled for an extra attacker.

Jarnkrok added an empty-net goal to cap the scoring.

Nashville outshot the Sharks 11-6 in the first. Jones saw some early action, denying Granlund’s wraparound attempt at 4:31 and stopping Matt Duchene six seconds later.

San Jose carried play for the majority of the second period, outshooting the Predators 10-2. Nashville’s first shot came 16 seconds into the period, and the other with just 46 seconds remaining.

Saros was sharp in the second, highlighted by three stops less than a minute apart. He first denied Patrick Marleau from the low slow with 4:15 remaining, and 55 seconds later he turned aside Tim Heed’s long slap shot and then Dylan Gambrell’s attempt off the rebound.

“I thought we had some pretty good looks, some chances,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said.

The second period also featured some animosity between the teams as they combined for 48 penalty minutes, punctuated by a late fight between San Jose’s Evander Kane and Nashville’s Austin Watson.

NOTES: Nashville is 11-1-1 in its last 13 home games against the Sharks. ... The Predators play five of their next six on the road. ... The win was Nashville’s first when tied after two periods this season (1-2-1). … Granlund returned to the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury. ... The Sharks have scored just one power-play goal in their last 12 games. ... Jones is 5-8-2 in his career against Nashville.


Sharks: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Predators: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.