Predators win longest game of 2016 playoffs thanks to Mike Fisher’s triple overtime goal

Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm celebrate with Mike Fisher (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Game 4 between the Predators and Sharks started at 8:10 p.m. Thursday evening. Nearly five hours later, at 1:04 a.m. on Friday morning, Mike Fisher scored what may be the biggest goal of his career and the most important goal in Nashville Predators history.

With little less than nine minutes remaining in the third overtime of Game 4, Fisher cut to the front of the Sharks net as Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm let go a shot from the top of the circles. San Jose netminder Martin Jones made the initial stop but the rebound fell to Fisher’s feet. He picked up the puck, took one extra stride, slid the puck behind Jones and into an empty net. Fisher’s goal, which came 111:12 of game time after puck drop, gave the Predators the 4-3 victory to end the longest game in franchise history and the longest game of these 2016 playoffs. Read more Roundtable: Which trailing playoff team has the best chance of making a comeback?

Sad Alex Ovechkin.

As the second round of the playoffs rolls on, the Capitals, Islanders, Stars, and Predators are all trailing their series heading into Thursday’s action.

A one or two game deficit in the NHL is nothing to get too worried about. There have been many memorable comebacks from even 3-0 leads in recent years.

So don’t count any team out just yet. These are the three teams with the best chance of making a comeback in their series:

NEW YORK ISLANDERS, down to 2-1 to Lightning

Read more

Watch Shea Weber use his unstoppable shot to score Game 3 winner

Jared Clinton
Shea Weber (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nashville Predators blueliner Shea Weber gives up five inches and more than 20 pounds to Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, yet at the NHL skills competition the gap between the two rearguards hardest shots is a mere 0.3 miles per hour. So it goes almost without saying that Weber can tee off on a puck.

That’s why one of the best ways to stop Weber — at least offensively — is to eliminate the space he has to unload his slapshot. The problem, though, is that no matter how hard a team may try, Weber’s eventually going to get all of the puck on one of his shots and he might just put the puck through the netminder. Just ask San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, who must have blinked and missed Weber’s second-period blast careen off the post and in.

With the Predators and Sharks playing 4-on-4 in Game 3, Ryan Johansen cut into the San Jose zone with Roman Josi on his wing. As Johansen attempted to slip by Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, the puck was poked off of his stick and slowly moved towards the middle of the offensive zone. Weber was able to beat the Sharks forwards to the puck, wind up and skate into a slapshot that Jones had almost no chance of stopping: Read more

Predators’ offense comes to life in win over Sharks to get back in series

James Neal (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

The never-say-die Nashville Predators unleashed a seldom used weapon to beat the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday – their offense.

After giving up a first-period goal, the Predators scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 win over the Sharks. They now trail the series 2-1 with Game 4 at home on Thursday.

The Predators entered the game as the lowest-scoring team remaining in the playoffs, averaging just two goals-per-game. During a tight, low-scoring first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks, the Predators would go into shutdown mode after getting a lead, knowing a goal or two was enough to win.

Read more

Rinne robs Couture, Donskoi back-to-back with spectacular pad saves

Jared Clinton
Pekka Rinne (via NHL)

Though Pekka Rinne likely wouldn’t take the credit, the Nashville Predators would almost certainly heap praise on their veteran netminder if asked why the team was able to get by the Anaheim Ducks in seven games in the first round. And through two games of the second-round series against the San Jose Sharks, it’s been Rinne who has given Nashville a chance in both tilts with his best work coming in Game 2.

In the second period of a scoreless contest, Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi turned what looked like a nothing play into a great scoring chance for the Sharks. As Joel Ward skated into the neutral zone, he banked a puck off the boards to Donskoi, who spotted a streaking Couture cutting up the middle of the ice. Couture was able to get enough room to switch the puck to his forehand and fire a low shot that Rinne had to be quick to boot away. He couldn’t control the rebound, though, and it ended up right on Donskoi’s tape.

It would be safe to assume that 90 percent of the time, Donskoi would have been lifting his arms in the air and celebrating a goal with the room he had to shoot at, but Rinne wasn’t about to be beaten on the rebound. He darted back across, and made a second right pad stop, this time sending Donskoi’s chance wide of the net: Read more

Sharks’ core steps up yet again in ugly Game 2 win over Predators

Joe Pavelski scores at SAP Center on May 1, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It was probably the best thing the San Jose Sharks could have hoped for. They didn’t play anywhere near their best. Yet, they won anyway.

The Sharks became the only team to take a 2-0 series lead in the second round when they edged the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Sunday night. They were outshot 39-25 by the desperate visitors, but managed to hang in before captain Joe Pavelski netted a crucial go-ahead goal at 17:20 of the third period.

Read more

Sharks retrieve Game 1 black cat; hope to find it a home

Sharks black cat

The black cat that gained notoriety by making an appearance Friday before Game 1 of the series between San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will soon find a new home.

According to the Sharks, the cat, which has been renamed Joe PAW-velski in honor of captain Joe Pavelski, was retrieved by staff at the SAP Center on Saturday. The team said it is making arrangements to transport the cat to a nearby animal shelter, where it will undergo a full medical exam and microchip scan to determine if it has an owner. If the cat doesn’t have an owner, the Sharks are hoping it will be made available to adoption.

Read more

Sharks fight through challenges to knock off Predators in series opener

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 29:  Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks is congratulated by teammates on the bench after he scored a goal against the Nashville Predators in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 29, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks overcame some potential bad luck, some tough luck and a third-period deficit as they took Game 1 of their Western Conference series against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

The Sharks exploded in the third period by scoring five times – including two empty-netters – turning Nashville’s one-goal advantage into a 5-2 win.

Former Predator Joel Ward was the catalyst. He set up Tomas Hertl for a power-play goal and then scored the go-ahead marker to give the Sharks their first lead of the night. His goal occurred on a partial break as he outwaited Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne and tucked the puck around him at 11:49.

Read more