Sharks eliminate Predators in Game 7
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks ran the Nashville Predators out of the building and out of the playoffs on Thursday night.With goals from five different skaters -- all the big names no less -- San Jose capped a second-round playoff victor...
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Sharks ran the Nashville Predators out of the building and out of the playoffs on Thursday night.
With goals from five different skaters - all the big names no less - San Jose capped a second-round playoff victory with a 5-0 Game 7 thumping to the delight of a sold-out SAP Center.
With their eighth win in 12 games this spring, the Sharks advance to meet the St. Louis Blues for a best-of-seven Western Conference finals series that will send the winner on to play for the Stanley Cup.
Game 1 will be Sunday in St. Louis.
The Blues and Sharks have met four times in the postseason, only in the first round, and each team has won twice. San Jose won two of three regular-season meeting this year.
Leading by three going into the final period, the Sharks took advantage of defenseman Mattias Ekholm’s cross-check of Tommy Wingels at the horn of the second period.
Center Joe Thornton tapped home a rebound left on a Logan Couture shot when San Jose broke on 4-on-1 after intercepting a Mike Fisher drop pass just inside the San Jose blue line. Thornton’s third goal of the postseason came 32 seconds into the third.
Patrick Marleau capped a 2-on-1 break with Couture to score his fourth of the playoffs at 3:54 after Nashville defenseman Shea Weber got caught on a pinch. Marleau’s 64th career playoff goal chased starting Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who broke his stick on the crossbar after the goal.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones stopped all 20 shots Nashville produced for his first career playoff shutout.
The Sharks scored the only two goals of an opening period they dominated from start to finish.
Joe Pavelski potted his ninth goal of the playoff season with a one-timer from 10 feet out on the power play after taking a pass from Marleau, who was behind the net.
Joel Ward made it 2-0 when he picked Nashville defenseman Roman Josi’s pocket at the visitors’ blue line. Rinne was unable to stop a half-speed shot following a stickhandling move at 16:51.
Logan Couture scored his seventh goal of the playoffs and fifth of the series just 36 seconds into the second period to give the hosts a 3-0 lead they would nurse throughout the middle period.