Nashville Predators Move Into First Place With Win Over San Jose Sharks
Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators Move Into First Place With Win Over San Jose Sharks

The Nashville Predators defeated the San Jose Sharks with the help of great goaltending by Pekka Rinne and opportunistic goal scoring. The Sharks just couldn't beat Rinne when it mattered.

Mac Bass

The San Jose Sharks fell to the Nashville Predators at home tonight by the score of 2-1 in what was a somewhat anticlimactic game. There were only a total of 45 shots in the game, 21 for the Sharks and 24 for the Predators. The Predators got on the scoreboard first. 

Eric Nystrom wound up for a shot and beat Sharks' goalie, Martin Jones, only three minutes and 22 seconds into the game to get his third goal of the season. Roman Josi and Paul Gaustad picked up assists on the goal. 

The rest of the first period didn't have much action besides a roughing penalty given to Barret Jackman towards the end of the period. Tommy Wingels hit Jackman prior to the penalty and Jackman took exception to the hit. Jackman seems to think he's still good, but it's no longer 2007. The Sharks came up empty on this power play opportunity.

The second period was scoreless and the only exciting moment was when Joe Thornton and Shea Weber got into it a little bit in the neutral zone. They both ended up getting offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but it would have been a real treat to see these two drop the gloves. They are both large men and can really do some damage in a fight considering their star player statuses. 

Joe Pavelski scored only a minute and a half into the third period and this brought some energy back into SAP CenterMatt Nieto and Matt Tennyson both picked up assists on the play. It was a classic goal for Pavelski as he has made a living from scoring in the dirty area around the night. 

Unfortunately, for the Sharks, Nashville took back the lead after cashing in on a 2-on-1. Calle Jarnkrok scored his first goal of the season with a nice shot over the glove of Jones. Gabriel Bourque and Seth Jones picked up the assists.

The Predators were a good team last year and they are a good team again this year. They have one of the best defenses in the league and some would argue that Pekka Rinne is the best goalie in the league. Carey Price seems to get the most votes for best goalie though. 

The Sharks played well, despite the game being exciting, and if they continue to play this way then they will win more times than not. The Sharks are now 5-3, but only two points behind the first place Los Angeles Kings in their division. They are in a fine position to succeed still.  

The Predators are now 7-1-1 which seats them at the top of their division with 15 points. They are surely a playoff team and will go as far as Rinne and that defense can take them.