Preds lose another offensive star, win against NHL's hottest team

Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 1:26am
Staff reports

Sergei Kostitsyn broke a scoreless tie 59 seconds into the third period but the Nashville Predators failed to break their overtime habit.

Ultimately though, they broke the San Jose Sharks’ win streak with a 2-1 shootout victory Saturday at San Jose. Craig Smith, the Predators’ second skater, was the only player for either side who was successful in the shootout.

It was the fifth time in their first eight games Nashville played beyond regulation. All five went to shootouts.

The Sharks came into the contest as the NHL’s last unbeaten team (7-0-0) and had a chance to become the first Western Conference team since the Predators in 2005-06 to open a season with eight straight victories.

The Predators (3-2-3), who have just two goals in their last three games, outshot San Jose in overtime but failed to take advantage of a hooking penalty against Martin Havlat with 2:12 to play.

Their offense was not helped by the fact that left wing Martin Erat sustained a lower leg injury Friday at practice and did not play. Through the first seven games, he was tied for the team scoring lead (four points) with Patric Hornqvist, who missed his fourth straight contest with a knee injury.

Kostitsyn’s goal was his first of the season and his first point since he had a pair of assists in the season-opener against Columbus. Colin Wilson had the lone assist, also his first of the season.

Havlat tied it for San Jose and ended Pekka Rinne’s shutout bid when he scored on the power play with 6:21 to play in regulation.

Neither team scored in the first two periods despite a combined 32 shots (19 for San Jose, 13 for Nashville) and right power plays (four apiece). Rinne finished 26 saves, his highest total in five games, as the Predators were outshot 27-24.

Nashville is now 3-2-1 on the current seven-game road trip that ends Tuesday at St. Louis. The team is scheduled to return to Middle Tennessee on Sunday, though, then leave town again Monday in order to complete the trip.

3 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 2/3/13 at 7:58

Good game, Preds!

By: joe41 on 2/3/13 at 9:56

This ought to be setting some sort of records for shootouts.

By: Heat Lightnin on 2/4/13 at 6:32

Two big wins in a row! They are finally starting to play Preds hockey with the new lineup. If they can bring that style to St Louis, they have a chance. They could end up 4-2-1 on the road trip!