The Tank, CA
The San Jose Sharks have found a formula that works: get great goaltending from Martin Jones and clutch scoring from Logan Couture and the Captain Joe Pavelski, and voila, a 2-0 series lead in this best of seven semifinal series with the Nashville Predators.
Nashville came out hitting and played a desperate brand of hockey for a large part of the game but it was the Sharks who got the clutch scoring from their core players. Couture opened the scoring for San Jose by potting a power play goal at 18:36 of the second period, knocking in a rebound of a Bret Burns Blast to give San Jose the 1-0 lead.
The power play came as a result of a rather bizarre play by Preds D man Roman Josi. Nashville had too many men on the ice and as Josi realized the gaffe, he vaulted on to the San Jose bench to try and prevent the penalty call. San Jose has been deadly on the Power Play in the Playoffs this year, scoring eight times with the man advantage.
Mattias Ekholm tied the game for the Preds in the third period on a nice wrist shot through traffic just inside the blue line, tying the score at 1-1. The score stayed tied until Joe Pavelski scored his sixth of the playoffs with 2:40 left in the game, knocking in a rebound of a Matt Nieto shot past a sprawling Rinne.
As the clock wore down, Nashville pulled Rinne and with 3.6 seconds left, Ryan Johansen scored his second goal in as many games, knocking in the fourth shot of the sequence. San Jose was able to run out the clock and head outta town with a stranglehold on the series.
How many different ways can you praise Pavelski? As many as you want because he has been the definition of clutch in this years playoffs. He wore out the Kings in the previous series, and has garnered 10 points in 7 games. Logan Couture also has 10 points in the playoffs and Martin Jones leads the league in playoff wins with 6.
Some notable players for Nashville that have 0 points: All Star D man Shea Weber, Mike “The Weasel” Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg and James Neal.
Reilly the Hockey Dog wants to know, is this our year? Stay tuned!!