for this game

Sharks dominate Predators to take series lead

Apr 17, 2007 - 6:57 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- The San Jose Sharks didn't throw any punches this time but they still landed all the big shots.

Milan Michalek and Ryan Clowe scored goals less than four minutes apart in the second period as the Sharks rallied for a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators and a two-games-to-one lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Patrick Marleau added a third-period tally for San Jose, which rebounded from a 5-2 loss in Game Two that featured a fight-filled finish.

The Sharks kept relentless pressure on the Predators throughout, enjoying an overwhelming 41-20 shot margin, and only some spectacular play by Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who finished with 38 saves, prevented a blowout.

"We did everything we wanted to, and kind of stayed patient and waited for our chances," Sharks defenseman Matt Carle said. "We capitalized on them, had a good third period and shut them down. We stayed patient, we didn't get rattled getting down early. We kept getting shots, and we knew they would eventually go in."

Game Four is Wednesday night in San Jose.

The Sharks dominated after spotting the Predators a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by defenseman Ryan Suter, who one-timed a shot from David Legwand past Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov.

The momentum turned after Nashville was whistled for four straight penalties in the middle session. While San Jose failed to convert on any of the man-advantage situations, both second-period goals came shortly after the Predators had killed off a penalty.

"We had to kill a lot of penalties, six in a row there in the first two periods," Nashville's Peter Forsberg said. "We played them pretty good in the first and then with the power plays there were in our zone the whole second period. Vokoun kept us in the game in the second period. ... We need to play a little smarter."

San Jose outshot Nashville, 18-7, in the middle session and it paid off with two goals 3:40 apart.

Michalek tied the score at 1-1 when he tipped a shot from the point by defenseman Craig Rivet past Vokoun at the 8:38 mark.

Clowe then put the Sharks ahead at the 12:08 mark, taking a pass from Matt Carle in the right faceoff circle and whipping a shot short side past Vokoun. That tally came just 10 seconds Nashville had killed off a penalty on Paul Kariya.

Last game on the power play we weren't getting chances, that kills you," Clowe said. "We came in after the first, we were down 1-0, we said keep going. We're doing the right things on the power play, and were getting pucks to the (defense). That's all we need. I think our power play was hungry tonight, and you see what happens."

With rookie Alexander Radulov serving a one-game suspension for drilling Steve Bernier into the boards in Game Two, Nashville's offense bogged down. Radulov entered tied for the team lead with three goals and an assist against the Sharks.

"If you can suck the life out of the other team (with power plays) a little bit - those are hard minute when you are killing penalties against a very good power play such as San Jose," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Those are hard minutes to play, and they will take away from your offense a little bit, and it did for some of our players."

San Jose's heavy pressure paid off with an insurance goal with 4:26 to play. After a turnover, Bill Guerin fired a shot on net and Marleau, skated in front of Vokoun, deflected it into the left corner for a 3-1 lead.

"We kept them out of our end, and we just wore them down," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "A win a win in playoff hockey. We just go out and get the next one."

Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves.

"We know what we need to do to win and we didn't do that," Vokoun said. "That's why we lost the game. We got outplayed, plain and simple. They were a better team and the score shows it, and every stat you look at shows it.

"Sometimes that's not exactly the story, always, but certainly it was today."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 0 1
    SAN JOSE 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (DAVID LEGWAND, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 11:53
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 2 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON) 8:38
    SAN - RYANE CLOWE 2 (MATTHEW CARLE, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF) 12:18
    3RD PRD: SAN - PATR

    Apr 17 12:39 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - PATRICK MARLEAU 1 (BILL GUERIN) 15:34

    Predators vs. SharksApr 17 12:33 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1
    SAN JOSE 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (DAVID LEGWAND, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 11:53
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 2 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON) 8:38
    SAN - RYANE CLOWE 2 (MATTHEW CARLE, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF) 12:18
    SHOTS

    Apr 16 11:45 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 2 (MATTHEW CARLE, CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF) 12:18

    Predators vs. SharksApr 16 11:29 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 2 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON) 8:38

    Predators vs. SharksApr 16 11:24 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (DAVID LEGWAND, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 11:53
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 7 7
    SAN 11 11
    GOALIES: NAS - T

    Apr 16 10:48 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL NASHVILLE 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (DAVID LEGWAND, JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 11:53

    Predators vs. SharksApr 16 10:35 PM