Preview: Sharks at Predators
The San Jose Sharks hope that stepping out of the Pacific Time Zone -- and the Pacific Division, for that matter -- will help them finally locate the winner's circle. After being outscored 12-3 in their first three contests, the Sharks look for better results on Tuesday when they continue their three-game road trip against the Nashville Predators.
"You've got to work. It's not easy to score goals or win hockey games in the NHL unless you work," San Jose captain Logan Couture said. "Usually the team that works harder win games, and in all three so far, the other team has outworked us." The 30-year-old Couture scored in the second period of Saturday's 3-1 setback to Anaheim, but the team went 0-for-4 on the power play and has failed on all 14 opportunities with the man advantage this season. While the Sharks have struggled to find their offense, Matt Duchene has had no such trouble in his first two games since signing a seven-year, $56 million contract this season. "This is where he wanted to be, we wanted to have him, and it finally happened," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said the 28-year-old Ontario native. "He's stepped right in; I mean, this is, I think if you ask him, this is his home, like Nashville is his home. He wants to be here."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
ABOUT THE SHARKS (0-3-0): Evander Kane is eligible to return for Tuesday's contest after serving a three-game suspension for physical abuse of an official during San Jose's preseason finale. The Sharks certainly can use his scoring punch, as the 28-year-old matched a career high of 30 goals in 2018-19 despite being limited to just two assists in three games versus Nashville. Defenseman Brent Burns highlighted his five-point performance against the Predators last season by capping a three-point effort with a power-play goal in the third period of San Jose's 5-4 win in Music City on Oct. 23.
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (1-1-0): Viktor Arvidsson has picked up where he left off in the regular season in 2018-19 by scoring for the second time in as many games in Nashville's 5-3 setback to Detroit on Saturday. The 26-year-old Swede's power-play goal came off a nifty assist from Duchene, a sequence that Laviolette hopes repeats itself constantly this season after the club finished dead-last with a 12.9 percent efficiency with the man advantage. "It's been really good having (Duchene) down there with some different thoughts coming in from ideas on what we're looking for," Laviolette said. "Having (Duchene) down on that goal line and the left-hand shot is a perfect example of how it comes around, it goes down on that goal line and you have the stick there that you want. He's got the ability to make plays like that, so it was a really nice goal."
1. Nashville C Filip Forsberg erupted for seven points (four goals, three assists) in three games versus San Jose in 2018-19.
2. Sharks G Martin Jones has yielded eight goals on 58 shots in five periods of play this season.
3. Predators G Pekka Rinne sports a sizzling 1.92 goals-against average and .940 save percentage over 24 career appearances (23 starts) versus San Jose.
PREDICTION: Predators 3, Sharks 2