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The Nashville Predators will conclude a three-game road trip through California when they visit the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center on Saturday. Nashville from a loss at Anaheim by beating Los Angeles on Thursday. The Sharks had won six games in a row before falling to Florida earlier this week.
Nashville has dropped a pair of 5-4 setbacks to San Jose this season, with Viktor Arvidsson collecting two goals and an assist in an Oct. 23 meeting while his goal in Thursday 3-1 victory at Los Angeles gave him at least 29 for the third straight season.
“I feel a bit faster this year than I was last year; I feel like I kind of choose my shots a little bit more this year and hold on to pucks sometimes that I’ve shot years before,” Arvidsson assured.
Although Colton Sissons recorded his eighth multi-point performance of the season and first since Jan. 7 on Thursday, the 25-year-old was pleased with the team’s effort against the Kings as it moved to within one point of Central Division-leading Winnipeg.
“It’s probably the best game we’ve played in recent weeks,” Sissons noted. “It feels good to put a complete effort in from start to finish and to just have everybody step up and play their best game. It feels good.”
Ryan Johansen has assisted on three goals during the 2018-19 series with San Jose and has delivered three of the club-best 46 assists in his last three games to move to within one point of 400 for his career. Center Craig Smith has three goals in his last four games overall and two goals plus an assist against San Jose this season.
Playoffs on the horizon
The Sharks will attempt to secure their 14th playoff berth in 15 seasons on Saturday when they host the Predators. Their initial bid to become the first Western Conference team to gain entry into the postseason went by the boards as they saw their six-game winning streak halted with Thursday’s 4-2 setback against Florida.
“Sure, every time you lose a game it’s opportunity lost, but you’re not going to win every game the rest of the way,” head coach Peter DeBoer noted. “Two weeks ago, we were seven points back. I think we’re in a pretty good spot, and we worked awful hard to get there.”
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 15, 2019
Kevin Labanc scored on the Panthers to boost his point total to seven (two goals, five assists) in his last seven games for the Sharks, who fell to 12-2-1 in their last 15 contests at SAP Center. Evander Kane, who will return to the lineup on Saturday after sitting out the last six games, admitted he was touched by the outpouring of support he received after revealing the loss of the 26-week-old daughter he and his wife were expecting.
“It really makes you appreciate how special the hockey community is,” the 27-year-old said. “It was pretty humbling to have so many people reach out.”
The San Jose Sharks are:
- 22-8 in the last 30 overall
- 36-17 in their last 53 home games
- 45-20 in their last 65 games against the Western Conference
The Nashville Predators are:
- 2-5 in their last seven games following a win
- 1-4 in their last five games against teams with winning records
- 0-6 in their last six Saturday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic has one goal and four assists in his last three games. His team will be eager to clinch a playoff spot, while the Predators are struggling just a bit at the moment. Nashville is 8-26 in its last 34 trips to San Jose. The Sharks are 11-5 in their last 16 against winning opponents and 10-1 in their last 11 against the Central Division. It is also worth noting that the home team is 49-20 in the last 69 head-to-head matchups and the favorite is 5-1 in the last six.
Prediction: San Jose Sharks
Full-Game Total Pick
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne boasts a 12-7-4 career mark with one shutout, a 1.92 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in 24 appearances against the Sharks. San Jose’s Logan Couture, who has 24 goals this season, has been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games to remain stuck on 499 career points. The under is 7-3 in the Predators’ last 10 overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, and 7-2 in their last nine against the Western Conference. It is also 5-0-1 in the Sharks’ playing on six days of rest. Additionally, the under is 10-3-2 in Nashville’s last 15 trips to San Jose. Look for this one to stay under the total.