From a Sharks fans perspective, the first forty minutes into Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round, might have been boring, frustrating, disappointing. Then the third period began. Preds goalie Pekka Rinne looked like the Shark killer he has been in his entire career. A franchise tying five goal period, with two power play goals and two empty netters gave Game 1 to San Jose. Team Teal hopes to carry their momentum of the third period into Game 2 Sunday in Teal Town.
San Jose definitely looked like they had some rust to shake off early. Players skating a little slow, passing off kilter. Basic fundamentals not on point. There also seemed like there was a feeling out process against two teams who haven’t played each other much. Early on you saw both San Jose and Nashville slow the game down by trying to setup perfect breakouts while their opponents were setting up a neutral zone trap. Granted after the Sharks’ offensive onslaught, Nashville’s frustration boiled up at the end. We’ll see if that trickles over to Game 2.
The Sharks mixed up their third and fourth lines in the latter stages of the game. If they stick with what was working, here’s what we should see at 5pm on Sunday:
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Donskoi – Couture – Ward
Marleau – Tierney – Karlsson
Nieto – Spaling – Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak
For Nashville, look for them to stay the course with their lineup. Based on their past playoff history, this is a must win. The Predators have never won a series down 0-2. The Predators will play its ninth playoff game in 19 days Sunday, stayed off the ice Saturday, opting for rest. “It’s good mentally,” forward Colin Wilson said. “We deserve a break. We’ve been playing hard, Good to get away and refocus.”
“They have a lot of speed and a lot of offense they bring to the game,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of the Sharks. “They throw a lot of pucks at the net. I thought we did a pretty good job the first two periods. They have a dangerous power play and we have to stay out of the box. Their players seemed to find some energy from that and the game turned a little bit.”
No lineup changes for Nashville, Pekka Rinne will start in net.
After the game, join us for Pucknology After Dark, as we break down Game 2, prep for Game 3 and have a ton of fun doing it. To subscribe, go to http://www.youtube.com/PucknologyAfterDark1 Follow @Puckguy14 and @Pucknology for the direct link for the show.
Get loud, get your teal on.