The Nashville Predators look to continue their offensive awakening when they host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
After managing just eight goals in their first four games, the Predators scored nine in a 1-1 weekend that ended with a 5-2 win at the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
“There’s times where you’re playing pretty well and you have substance in your game but maybe you’re not finding ways to win or goals aren’t going in,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “I think if you stay with it, which our guys did, you’re eventually going to get rewarded.”
Defenseman Roman Josi, who leads Nashville with seven points (three goals, four assists) had a goal and three assists against Minnesota, and Ryan Johansen scored twice as the Predators won for just the second time in six games.
“I thought we didn’t really play like a 1-4 team before,” Josi said. “I thought we had some really good games, we could have won some games, too, so it’s definitely nice to . . . get a win.”
Twenty-four-year-old Connor Ingram finished with 33 saves in his NHL debut after Juuse Saros (1-4, 2.88 goals-against average) had started the first five games.
Predators forward Eeli Tolvanen left Sunday’s game with an upper-body injury, and his status for Tuesday is uncertain.
The Sharks are looking to bounce back after seeing their four-game winning streak end with a 4-3 loss at Boston on Sunday. They are finishing a five-game road trip.
San Jose, coming off two straight losing seasons, continues to be boosted by youth. Jasper Weatherby’s goal Sunday was the fifth by a Sharks rookie this season, the most of any team through Sunday.
Fellow rookie Jonathan Dahlen has three goals through five games, and Jonah Gadjovich became the fourth Shark to notch his first NHL point this season when he assisted on Weatherby’s goal.
Playing their fifth game in nine days, the Sharks fell behind 3-0 in the first period before rallying to within 4-3 with two third-period goals.
“We talked between the second and third (periods) about trying to get back to a little bit of our identity, so we can at least take that into the Nashville game,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “We talked if we get the second goal, we can make it a game. I think we just got it too late in the period.”
Tim Meier scored his third goal of the season and is tied with Logan Couture for the team scoring lead with eight points. Tomas Hertl added his second goal and was pleased with how the Sharks rallied.
“Last year in a game like that, everybody goes separate ways. Try and make a play (yourself) and we’ll see what happens, and we actually give up more,” Hertl said. “But this year we just stick together and fight for everybody.”
Adin Hill has started four of five games in goal but was pulled in favor of James Reimer in the second period against Boston after allowing four goals on 14 shots.
The Sharks dealt center Dylan Gambrell to the Ottawa Senators Sunday for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick. He had appeared in 110 NHL games over four seasons but was playing with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.
–Field Level Media