Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Smith's goal wasn't enough as San Jose defeats Nashville

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators by a 3-1 score in front of 15,121 at Bridgestone Arena. The Sharks got two goals from Joe Pavelski and one from Logan Couture in the victory.

In the first period, the Predators were on the power play after Justin Braun took a penalty for holding. Martin Havlat took the puck down the ice shorthanded and fired a shot on Pekka Rinne. Couture was there for the rebound, and flipped the puck past Rinne to take the 1-0 lead.

San Jose controlled the play during the second period as well. Rinne made some key saves in the period to keep the Predators in the game. After two periods of play, the Sharks held a 27-12 shot advantage.

Nashville finally tied the game at 13:12 of the third period when Craig Smith drove to the net and backhanded one past Antii Niemi. It was Smith's third goal of the young season.

"One of the biggest things that I had to learn in this league is that pucks and bodies go to the net. I'm kind of learning quick and getting rewarded for it," Smith said.

Less than a minute later, San Jose regained the lead when Pavelski pounded one in from behind the net. Pavelski would add an empty net goal to ice the game away for the Sharks.

Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon made their way back into the lineup tonight, and played solid minutes for the Predators. Fisher tallied an assist on Smith's goal, and Bouillon's veteran presence on the blueline was very noticeable.

Everybody in the building could tell that Bouillon was very excited to get back on the ice. He was smiling throughout the pregame warmups, and his play was almost as if he hadn't missed any time at all.

"He was excited tonight. I could see it in his eyes before the game, and just talking to him, he was really excited to get back out there. He played great. He's moving well. He drew that penalty with another check into the head, but he played well. He stepped up and you could definitely feel his presence out there," Smith said.

With the loss, the Predators drop to 3-4-1 on the year, and have lost five out of the last six contests. Tampa Bay comes into Nashville on Thursday night, and the Predators will be looking to get back in the win column.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Joe Pavelski(SJS)
2. Pekka Rinne(NSH)
3. Logan Couture(SJS)

3 Stars by Nashville Media:
1. Joe Pavelski(SJS)
2. Craig Smith(NSH)
3. Logan Couture(SJS)


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