The Nashville Predators defeated the winless San Jose Sharks in their third game of the year. Timely goals from Kyle Turris and Filip Forsberg destroyed any momentum San Jose had built in the second period.
Roman Josi started the scoring with his first and second goals of the year. After a Colton Sissons slot feed and an unorthodox penalty kill from San Jose, Josi had given the Predators a 2-0 lead. San Jose did not go down easy, as Evander Kane tipped a Logan Couture point shot past Pekka Rinne on the Sharks’ third power play attempt of the night.
Early in the third period, Kyle Turris sniped his first goal of the year through Jones, giving Nashville a one goal advantage. About five minutes later, Filip Forsberg buried a one-timer after an Erik Karlsson turnover. Although Brent Burns brought the difference back to two, Dante Fabbro’s first goal of the year drowned the Sharks for good.
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Matt Irwin, who was scratched for the first two games, replaced Dan Hamhuis in the lineup. At one point in the game, he was on the ice for 3 minutes and 11 seconds straight, desperately trying to thwart San Jose’s manic offense. Although Irwin wasn’t the worst player on the ice, he was not the solution to the third pairing’s blunders.
Viktor Arvidsson almost matched Filip Forsberg on the man-advantage but rang a one-timer off the post. Forsberg and Arvidsson will be in a tight battle for goal scoring this year, and Duchene’s presence has benefitted Arvidsson on the power play and Forsberg at even strength.
Roman Josi, whose play was overshadowed by Ryan Ellis through two games, shined bright against San Jose. Josi led the team in CF% with 63.33%, xGF% with 76.39%, and tied the team high in HDCF% with a solid 66.67% in all strengths. As expected, Josi drove the Predators’ play when the offense was lacking.
Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg are all on three game point streaks. Duchene’s six assists lead both Nashville in points and the NHL in assists. Given the productivity of Nashville’s top six, little concern surrounds the lack of scoring from the bottom six.
Of Nashville’s 20 skaters, 16 have registered a point. Matt Irwin, Yannick Weber, and Dan Hamhuis are having diffculties in the bottom pairing, and Daniel Carr has yet to play yet.
Nashville hosts the Washington Capitals this Thursday before heading west for a three game road trip. Their first stop is in Los Angeles to face Drew Doughty and the Kings.