|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 23, 2018
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee Attendance: 17,159
Predators face Sharks with seven-game win streak
San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators
- Nashville is 12-1-1 (.893) at home against the Sharks since 2011-12, its best record against any single conference opponent in that span (including postseason). The Predators have more than doubled up the Sharks in those games, outscoring them 58-27.
- The Sharks have won consecutive games for the first time this season after defeating the Islanders on Saturday, 4-1. San Jose has 311 shots on goal, second most in the NHL behind Carolina and second most through eight games in franchise history behind the 2013-14 team (322).
- The Predators are 7-1-0, their second-best start to a season (started 8-0-0 in 2005-06). They shutout Edmonton in their last game, 3-0, and are now allowing just 1.88 goals per game, lowest in the NHL.
- Tomas Hertl had three assists in the win over the Islanders, his third game with at least three points since last season. Only Logan Couture (six) and Joe Pavelski (four) have more three-point games for San Jose since last year.
- Juuse Saros is 4-0-0 this season with a 1.54 goal-against average. He is the only goalie to play at least four games without a loss and is second in the NHL among qualifiers in GAA (David Rittich, Cal -- 1.30).
- Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier each recorded their sixth point in San Jose's win over New York. The Sharks have seven skaters with at least six points this season, tied with the Senators for most in the NHL. The Predators are right behind with six skaters.
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Once described as a professional sourpuss, Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette does have a well-hidden sense of humor.
It came out minutes after Nashville polished off a 3-0 shutout Saturday night in Edmonton for a sweep of its weekend road trip through Alberta. When he emerged from the locker room for his post-game scrum with the media, Laviolette did so with a bull's head over his cranium, paying off a bet he made with his players.
"Good on him to hold up his end of the bet," Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said. "For us as a team, it's an 82-game season and it can be a long season. When you're coming on the road with a back-to-back and a 5-1-0 record, it's a little extra motivation and we're having some fun, but good on him."
While it's pretty unlikely that Laviolette will appear behind the bench for Tuesday night's home game with the San Jose Sharks with a bull's head over his suit and tie, it's clear that he knows how to get through to his talented team.
Nashville (7-1-0) has picked up where it left off last season, when it won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in franchise history. The Predators have won five straight, outscoring their opponents 20-7. They presently have the best record and goal differential (+12) in the NHL.
The win in Edmonton was just another example of what makes Nashville so difficult to beat. Playing a back-to-back against a team with perhaps the best player in the league in Connor McDavid, the Predators put on a puck possession clinic for two periods and then hunkered down in the third period to protect a two-goal lead.
"We knew before the game that they have lots of talent," Nashville goalie Juuse Saros said. "We tried to be solid in the defensive zone. We were, and our penalty kill was great, too."
Playing in place of the injured Pekka Rinne (knee), Saros (4-0-0) stopped 31 shots for his fifth career shutout. With Rinne on injured reserve through Thursday night's game in New Jersey, Saros will get the call for San Jose's only visit of the season.
The Sharks are off to a 4-3-1 start, dumping the New York Islanders 4-1 Saturday night as Brent Burns scored his first goal of the season while Tomas Hertl supplied three assists. San Jose dominated statistically, outshooting New York 41-25.
"I liked how we played," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think we've played some pretty good hockey all year. We didn't get rewarded on the road to start the season, but I knew it was a matter of time if we kept playing that way. We got home here, we started to score, we feel a little bit confident."
San Jose's confidence will be tested in perhaps its biggest jinx building in the league. The Sharks have emerged from Bridgestone Arena with just one win in their last 12 attempts, dating back to 2012. Their only win in that span came on April 2, 2016 in a shootout.
Updated October 23, 2018