The Nashville Predators will play their first game in the state of California in the 2011-12 season tonight as they take on the Sharks at HP Pavillion. The San Jose faithful are known to be some of the loudest fans in the NHL so the Predators will have to deal with that home ice advantage that the Sharks have.
Nashville is coming off of a 3-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night. Pekka Rinne recorded his third shutout in his last six games. Patric Hornqvist scored a goal for the fourth straight game, and David Legwand recorded his 12th point of the season in the 12th game of the season.
San Jose is coming off of an exciting win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jamie McGinn tied the game at three for the Sharks with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. The Sharks would win it in the shootout, and improved to 7-4-0 on the season.
These two teams are pretty familiar with each other. San Jose got the better of the Predators on Oct. 23 at Bridgestone Arena in a 3-1 win. Joe Pavelski had two goals in the game for the Sharks, and Logan Couture had the other. Craig Smith scored the lone goal for the Preds on the power play.
My player to watch for the Sharks is Logan Couture. He's a good young player, and is a key offensive weapon for the Sharks. Couture has seven points for the Sharks so far this season.
For Nashville, my player to watch is Kevin Klein. He took a puck off the ankle against the Coyotes, and then proved his toughness by coming back and playing in the game. Klein is an excellent shot-blocker, and that's extremely valuable against an offensive team like San Jose.