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Sharks look to put series stranglehold on Predators in Game 4

In a Game 3 of their second-round playoff series, the San Jose Sharks slipped against the Nashville Predators.

Up until that point the Sharks had cruised through the postseason going 6-1 and dispatching the Los Angeles Kings, a team with win-now Stanley Cup aspirations, in five games. Nashville was arguably the better team in Games 1 and 2 – both Sharks wins – but couldn’t get the big goals at big moments.

In Game 3, San Jose suffered their worst defeat of the playoffs, a 4-1 loss to the Preds. How they respond in Game 4, a contest where San Jose can put a 3-1 stranglehold on the series, will help determine if Game 3’s loss was just a blip, or something more troubling for San Jose

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“I would expect our desperation level to be in a real good place tonight,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.

During the playoffs, DeBoer has tried to keep his team loose with off days and rest. On Wednesday in Nashville, his team held meetings, got treatment and played around with a soccer ball according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"I think the mindset is we're in a good spot, we're up 2-1," he said. "We were the best road team in the NHL all year and I like our spot."

During the series, the Sharks have held a 5-on-5 puck possession advantaged with a 52.1 CF%. San Jose had the best road record in the NHL this season at 28-10-3, and have gone 3-1 away from SAP Center this postseason. But Nashville’s home ice advantage is different than most, wrote On The Forecheck. 

When the Predators get rolling, especially at home, the crowd behind them is easily one of the loudest across the league. They've done a fantastic job of energizing the team during some of the tougher moments throughout the season and when they're dominating the opposition.

The Predators got back into the series thanks to some stellar play by Pekka Rinne in Game 3, and a strong performance from captain Shea Weber.

Rinne stopped 26 of 27 shots on goal in the Game 3 win and Weber blasted the game-winning goal and added an assist.

“I think always, when you move on from the regular season to the postseason, you’re a little bit nervous,” Rinne said according to the Tennessean. “It’s more excitement than anything, but also nerves. But not anymore. Now it’s business as usual, I guess.” 

After the game, a mic’d up video made by the NHL showed Weber in the Predators locker room after the win, where he immediately set the tone moving forward, “We’ve got a lot of work left to do, boys. Let’s forget about this one and move on to Game Four.”

Also the last game, the Predators forced the powerful San Jose power play into an 0-for-4 showing. They came into the game at 3-for-5, having scored in their first two games. The Predators also held the line of Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl to just one point between the three.

It will be tough for Nashville to keep both the power play and the top line mostly off the board for a second consecutive game.

“We expect it’s going to be hard to score five-on-five, you’re going to have to earn your goals, and we’ve definitely had to,” Thornton said according to CSN Bay Area.

Added Pavelski, again per CSN Bay Area, “It’s tight, [the Predators] don’t give up a whole lot. With that being said, we can definitely create a little bit more. We can have more support. We’ve been a little spread out at times, I think.”



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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!




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