Saros makes 20 saves in Predators’ 8-0 win over Sharks
Mar 5, 2022, 5:48 AM | Updated: 8:50 pm
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Juuse Saros made 20 saves for his third shutout of the season, Matt Duchene scored twice and the Nashville Predators handed San Jose its most lopsided shutout loss at the Shark Tank with an 8-0 win Saturday night.
Michael McCarron had two goals and two assists, Matt Luff had two goals and an assist, and Philip Tomasino had three assists as the fourth line combined for 10 points.
“I thought we were hard on pucks all night,” Tomasino said of his line. “I thought we created a lot of turnovers on our forecheck. Obviously, we capitalized on our chances. So I think overall it was a pretty good game for everyone but especially our line took the next step today as well.”
Yakov Trenin and Mikael Granlund also scored, and Roman Josi had four assists to help the Predators win for the third time in nine games.
Nashville rebounded from a 4-3 loss at Seattle and returns home on a positive note ahead of a key game against Dallas on Tuesday.
“It’s definitely good to get our team back on the tracks here,” McCarron said. “We kind of have been slipping a little bit in some areas and didn’t come out and play the way we wanted to in Seattle. We went back to the drawing board and we were able to draw some stuff up and really figure out our game.
“I think the character in our locker room really came out tonight and we came out with a big win.”
The Sharks lost for the 10th time in 12 games as they gave little support to Alex Stalock in his first NHL action in nearly 19 months. Stalock made 22 saves before being replaced by Zach Sawchenko after allowing his sixth goal of the game.
The loss matched the most lopsided shutout ever at home for San Jose. The previous 8-0 loss came against Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 1991, at the Cow Palace in the Sharks’ expansion season.
“We’re embarrassed,” captain Logan Couture said. “You lose by that large of a margin, no one’s feeling good about themselves.”
Stalock was acquired from Edmonton earlier in the week after starting goalie James Reimer joined backup Adin Hill on the injured list with a lower-body injury.
The 2005 Sharks draft pick made a few sharp saves early in his first NHL since Aug. 7, 2020, for Minnesota. But he had little chance when Tomasino set up McCarron in close for a one-timer that gave the Predators the lead midway through the period.
Duchene added to it late in the first when Stalock had trouble seeing his bouncing shot from the point.
Saros made a big save early to rob Ryan Dzingel and came up with key stops in the second period against Timo Meier, Rudolfs Balcers and Tomas Hertl.
The Predators added to the lead when Josi’s point shot was deflected by Luff past Stalock to make it 3-0. Luff finished off a scramble in front of Stalock in the final minute of the second to keep Nashville in control.
“Very disappointing,” Sharks forward Nick Bonino said. “I thought we actually came out pretty good. We got down 3-0 with some pretty crap goals. They had a good net-front, but they were just slinging shots at the net that were going in. That fourth goal seemed to break us and it went from there.”
Duchene and McCarron each scored again early in the third to chase Stalock. Trenin and Granlund added goals against Sawchenko.
The Sharks played the Ukrainian national anthem before the game in a show of support in response to the invasion by Russia.
Blue and yellow lights — the colors of the Ukrainian flag — were displayed around the arena and the message “WE STAND WITH UKRAINE” was on the scoreboard.
Forward Rudolfs Balcers returned to the Sharks lineup after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury. Jonathan Dahlen was moved to IR with an upper-body injury to make room on the roster but could return next week.
San Jose defensemen Erik Karlsson and Jaycob Megna are both skating and could return from injuries next week as well.
Nashville defenseman Mark Borowiecki missed the game and is day to day with a lower-body injury.
Predators: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Visit Anaheim on Sunday night.
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