The San Jose Sharks went into game 6 with a 3-2 series lead against the Nashville Predators and were looking to end it on opposition ice. Unfortunately, it looked like the team didn’t anticipate the Predators to fight for their lives and didn’t want to play more than 20 minutes.
The first period was a tug-of-war between the teams as neither were able to get many shots in the first ten minutes of the game. One of those shots truly mattered for the shots though, as it was a goal. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a slap-shot from the blue line and Chris Tierney made a Pavelski-like tip that went to the left of Pekka Rinne’s left pad and in. Not even two minutes later, it was Tierney again as he found a wide open rebound near the right circle and slid the puck into a practically empty net, with Rinne out of position. That was pretty much it for the Sharks in this game though, as they completely fell asleep after and stopped playing. With under four left to play in the first frame, Roman Josi scored on a backhand shot that sent the puck flying up into the air and landing in the back of the net. Jones had no chance as there was a mad scramble in front of the net.
Sadly, the second period was much more one-sided and it went in the Predators favor. Ryan Johansen tied the game at 2’s just 1:25 in. After a failed clear by the Sharks during a four-on-four, Johansen took a pass near the right circle from a Preds player who was against the boards, deked around Justin Braun and beat Martin Jones five-hole. The Sharks were unable to stem the Predators growing confidence and spent most of the period on the defense. They were lucky to get out of the period tied.
For those of us hoping that the third would be better, it wasn’t. At all. At first play seemed to even out, but Nashville quickly took over again. Things did look up for San Jose as they killed a Nashville penalty and soon got a power-play. That was when the Sharks broke the 2-2 tie. Brent Burns passed to an open Logan Couture, who was right above the left face-off dot and sent a wrister into the back of the Predators net just seconds past the ten minute mark. Rinne was sprawled out on the ground and couldn’t get back into position before Couture took his shot. But, the Predators would not go quiet into the night and Colin Wilson tied the game up just minutes later. He was left all alone to the right of Jones and one-timed it to light the lamp. For the remaining seven-ish minutes, Nashville dominated San Jose. In fact, it was a miracle that they didn’t score. I’d thank Martin Jones and the Predators many missed opportunities for that. So, after the clock hit zero, we went to overtime for the second straight time in Nashville.
And just like last time these teams played each other the Predators won the game. Two minutes into the extra frame, Viktor Arvidsson scored his first ever Stanley Cup Playoff goal with a backhander that beat Jones’s left shoulder.
Game 7 will be played this Thursday night in San Jose. The time is yet to be decided. If there’s a silver-lining for Sharks fans, the home team has won every game this series. So, I guess that’s a positive? Maybe?
What are your thoughts on the game? How do you think Game 7 will go? Let me know below or tweet me @sharcago and let’s discuss it.