Predators Bite Sharks – Forsberg Nets Winner

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Filip Forsberg scored the tiebreaking goal with 12:58 left in the third period and Viktor Arvidsson added his second of the game into an empty net to help the Nashville Predators keep pace in the Central Division with a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Colton Sissons also scored and Juuse Saros made 24 saves to keep the Predators within one point of first-place Winnipeg in the division race. The Jets still have two games in hand.

Juuse Saros Nashville Predators
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Timo Meier and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, who failed for the second straight game in their bid to clinch a playoff spot with their first back-to-back home losses in regulation all season. San Jose also remained one point behind Calgary in the Pacific Division.

Martin Jones made 26 saves.

Forsberg delivered the game-winner after the Predators won a faceoff following an icing call against San Jose. He pulled Jones out of the net and then scored on a wraparound that deflected off defenceman Tim Heed’s stick.

Arvidsson then sealed it with the empty-net goal for his 31st of the season.

The game between two of the top teams in the Western Conference was chippy at times with neither side willing to back down in what could be a playoff preview.

San Jose’s Micheal Haley got into a fight in the first period with Wayne Simmonds to set the tone. Thornton and Sissons were then both sent off for cross-checking midway through the second period and spent much of their time in the box chirping at each other.

Shortly after Thornton came out, he delivered the tying goal during 4-on-4 play when he got to the front of the net and knocked a pass from Brent Burns past Saros to make it 2-2.

The teams had traded goals earlier in the second, with Joe Pavelski setting up Meier for his 27th goal of the season to make it 1-1 and Arvidsson answering with his 30th just 24 seconds later.

The Sharks entered the day with the second-best goal differential in the first period at plus-23 but fell behind almost from the start against a Predators team that had been outscored by nine goals in the opening 20 minutes.

San Jose had a strong opening shift before Nashville answered on a three-on-two rush that led to Sissons taking a pass from Craig Smith and knocking it into an open net for his second goal in as many games.

NOTES: Johansen recorded his 400th career point with an assist on Forsberg’s goal. … Sharks F Evander Kane returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an injury and for personal time after his daughter, Eva, passed away last weekend during his wife’s 26th week of pregnancy. F Joonas Donskoi was scratched for the first time this season.


Nashville: Host Toronto on Tuesday.

San Jose: Host Vegas on Monday.


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Josh Dubow, The Associated Press