The Nashville Predators were looking to get back on track after losing three straight as they welcomed in the San Jose Sharks. The Predators were able to get to a 2-0 lead after the first two periods with scores by Shea Weber (1st-8:07) and Calle Jarnkrok (2nd-1:38). The third period was dominated by Tomas Hertl and the Sharks. Hertl scored two goals in 8:12 from each other to tie the game to send it into overtime.
Without any goals in the overtime, the game would go to a shootout. Logan Couture scored in the first round and the Predators weren’t able to respond as Nashville fell to the Sharks 3-2.
Keys to Watch
Last Week of the Season
Losers of four straight games, the Nashville Predators enter the final week of the regular season trying to exorcise the demons before the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs begin next week. Nashville has clinched the first wildcard spot and will face either Los Angeles or Anaheim in the first round next week. Next week will have to wait. Nashville has gone into another slump in this roller coaster of a season. Their last win was a 5-1 defeat of the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 26th and the Predators can’t seem to get off of the losing side. The Preds will have to figure something out or it could be a short post-season run.
Will Ellis Return?
On Monday, Ryan Ellis fully participated in practice and is projected to play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. The Preds have not officially stated if he will be in the lineup tonight, but the likelihood is positive for his return. Ellis has missed two games due to an upper-body injury suffered during the Dallas game on March 29th. Nashville has also reassigned Stefan Elliot back to the Admirals (AHL) for his emergency call-up. The Preds are in dire need for Ellis to return. He plays an important part on the power-play and takes up lots of minutes to give Shea Weber and Roman Josi a break. If he is close to being ready, but not yet fully available, rest him. Nashville will need him next week. They cannot rush Ellis back and risk the possibility of further injury.
On the outside, looking in
The Colorado Avalanche are currently still trying to secure a spot for the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Avs are currently sitting at 82 points, five points behind the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have played one extra game with two games remaining. If the Minnesota Wild defeat the San Jose Sharks tonight, they will clinch the final spot. The Avs need the Wild to lose and they must win in the Music City. If Colorado loses tonight in regulation, the Wild clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. This team will look to win at whatever cost tonight. The Preds must go into the game with the mind-frame to expect a physical, playoff atmosphere from the Avs. The Avalanche’s season rides on tonight in a must win game for Colorado.
The Preds will look to get back on track and correct the path against a tough, physical Colorado team. Be sure to catch all of the action tonight on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!