The Nashville Predators lost their first road game in regulation to the San Jose Sharks 5-4. This is the second time the Predators have lost to the Sharks this season, as they also dropped their first matchup in Bridgestone.

Nashville Key Stats

Goals

Craig Smith, Filip Forsberg (2), Rocco Grimaldi

Assists

Kevin Fiala, Matt Irwin, Craig Smith, Ryan Johansen, Nick Bonino

San Jose Key Stats

Goals

Marcus Sorensen, Joe Pavelski (2), Antti Suomela, Joe Thornton

Assists

Erik Karlsson, Tomas Hertl, Marcus Sorensen (2), Brent Burns, Justin Braun

What Happened

San Jose absolutely dominated the first period. The Sharks had a two-goal lead before the Predators had registered a shot. Sorensen chipped the puck over an incapacitated Saros to begin the scoring affairs. Pavelski tapped a one-timer from Karlsson, and San Jose expanded their lead to two. Suomela smoked the puck past Saros after Forsberg turned the puck over in the Predators’ zone, and San Jose had a 3-0 lead.

Smith and Forsberg erased the lead with crucial goals. Smith tallied first after the puck found his stick from Johansen’s shot. Forsberg retrieved the puck from the neutral zone after a Sharks turnover and beat Jones glove side. Nearing the end of the period, Forsberg fended off a Sharks defender and fired one through Jones’ five-hole to tie the game.

The third period was evenly matched. Grimaldi broke the tie on a breakaway, scoring his first NHL goal. However, it was not enough to contain the Sharks. Pavelski netted his second of the night, and Thornton buried his 400th career goal immediately after; the Predators’ lead evaporated within 13 seconds. A valiant effort at the end for Nashville was not enough, and for the second time this year, Nashville lost to San Jose.

Looking Forward

Juuse Saros has allowed nine goals in two starts. Some of those goals aren’t necessarily his fault, but nevertheless, he’s not playing well right now.

Forsberg finally ended his goal drought. He had only one point through the most recent six games.

The Predators have allowed their opponents to score first in three consecutive games. Nashville hasn’t scored first since their 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Earlier in the season, they took command in the first period. It’s been a tale of comebacks recently, falling behind to the Stars, Ducks, and Sharks.

P.K. Subban left the game and did not return to the bench. If he is injured, that puts Nashville in a serious hole in terms of offense. Viktor Arvidsson, fourth on the team in points, has missed six games. Subban is currently fifth on the team in points.

Colton Sissons continues his strong, underrated play. In the recent five games, he matches Forsberg in shot totals and points. Sissons, along with Bonino were buzzing around the net all night long. It’s only a matter of time before both Sissons and Bonino break out.

Forward Austin Watson will be eligible to play against the Arizona Coyotes this Thursday.

San Jose delivering the loss to Nashville was hard to watch, but great teams know how to respond. If Nashville wants to continue their dominance, they will need to respond.

Also, if one were to condense this game down to a moment, it would be Craig Smith slamming his stick on the ice for no apparent reason. We were all left asking, “Wait, what just happened?”

-Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for FullPressCoverage.com and PenaltyBoxRadio.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @jack_woods15 and the Full Press Predators at @FPC_Predators.

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