Preview: Predators at Sharks
The Nashville Predators continue their trip through California on Saturday when they take on the struggling San Jose Sharks. Nashville began its trek with a 5-1 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday. It was the third loss in four games for the Predators, who have scored a total of one goal in the setbacks. Nashville won each of its first two meetings with the Sharks this season, posting a shootout win in San Jose on Feb. 2 and an overtime triumph at home 10 days later.
San Jose is coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings at home on Thursday. Logan Couture scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who went 2-6-4 in February after winning all seven of their games in January. Despite its recent troubles, San Jose still has managed to earn points at home. The club is 6-1-3 at HP Pavilion this season and has gone 1-1-3 in its own building during its current slide.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (9-7-5): Backup Chris Mason could get the start Saturday as Pekka Rinne has struggled of late. The 2012 Vezina Trophy finalist has allowed a total of 13 goals in his last three games after yielding 12 in his previous 10 starts. The Predators lost all three meetings with Anaheim this season. Part of the reason was the club's lack of success on the power play as Nashville went 0-for-10 with the man advantage over the three encounters. The Predators traded enforcer Brian McGrattan to the Calgary Flames on Thursday for defenseman Joe Piskula, who was assigned to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (9-6-4): Left wing Ryane Clowe returned to the lineup Thursday after serving his two-game suspension for leaving the bench to start an altercation in last Friday's loss at Chicago. Clowe has yet to score in 17 contests this season. San Jose failed to convert its lone power-play opportunity against Detroit and is just 3-for-59 over its last 14 games. The Sharks have been hard-pressed to score goals of any kind, as they have netted two or less in each of their last nine contests and 13 of 14. Patrick Marleau's next goal will be the 400th of his NHL career.
1. The Predators are 4-5-2 on the road this season but 0-3-1 in their last four away from home.
2. Couture has scored in back-to-back contests following an eight-game goalless drought.
3. Nashville concludes its California trip on Monday against Los Angeles.
PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Predators 2
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