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Hartnell scores twice as Predators hold off Sharks

Oct 27, 2006 - 2:53 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- An awkward shot by Scott Hartnell helped put an abrupt end to Vesa Toskala's winning streaks.

Hartnell scored twice, including the go-ahead tally in the third period, and Marek Zidlicky collected three assists to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 triumph over the San Jose Sharks.

After losing to San Jose in last spring's Western Conference quarterfinals, Nashville held off the Sharks' comeback bid to win for the fifth time in six games after dropping its first three contests.

"It's nice to get two points," Hartnell said. "We're on a roll here. We just need to continue this on the road. You want to end off a home game going on a road trip on a high note and we did that."

The Sharks lost for the third time in four games, which ended Toskala's franchise-record 12-game winning streak in regular-season play and his eight-game run on the road. He stopped 25 shots.

"The winning streak was nice, but this was a tough one to lose tonight," Toskala said."

Hartnell snapped a 3-3 tie with 2:29 remaining when he shot his own rebound from behind the net off Toskala's back and into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

"He (Toskala) made a save on the two-on-one and I was just able to get the rebound behind the net," Hartnell said. "I was just trying to bank it off of him and I was lucky enough that it went into the net. Sometimes you get those breaks."

"I just saved a two-on-one and I though I covered the rebound, and I couldn't get up." Toskala said. "There was nothing really more that I could do."

Trailing 3-1, San Jose scored with 67 seconds left in the second period when Steve Bernier skated into the left faceoff circle and made a cross-ice feed to Milan Michalek, who beat goaltender Tomas Vokoun for his team-leading seventh goal of the campaign.

Captain Patrick Marleau tied the game at 6:43 of the third session while on a power play with a deflection of Joe Thornton's shot past Vokoun's right pad. It was his fifth goal of the season.

"Joe made a great play and I was just able to get enough of it to get it in," Marleau said.

"You don't want to give Thornton too much room, because if you do, he is going to make plays," Vokoun said. "He (is) going to make plays and he is going to make you look stupid."

After Nashville rookie Alexander Radulov netted his first goal at 12:17 of the opening period to even the score, 1-1, Hartnell netted his fourth goal on a power play and Paul Kariya added his second of the season with 2:08 to go in the second period.

"Congratulations to Radulov on his first goal," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It's a special time for a young player. Those goal scorers seem to be able to find the far post."

"Last year, we lived and died on our power play," Kariya said. "This year, we have more five-on-five depth and scoring, and I think that's going to be huge going forward to not have to rely on the specialty teams."

Vokoun made 24 saves to raise his record to 4-2-1 for Nashville, which has won their last six regular season home encounters with San Jose.

The reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, Thornton collected three assists to raise his team-leading total to 13. However, he is still looking for his first goal of the campaign after scoring 20 in 2005-2006.

"We are not playing consistent 60-minute hockey, and it is costing us games," Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren said. "It's inexcusable, and something that has to be addressed and put to bed because we are not going to go anywhere playing the way we are now."

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