Programming note – Sharks-Predators coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 5-3-0, 10 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Predators: 2-4-1, 5 points, 7th Central Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks will be trying to wrap up a perfect homestand after beating the Ducks and Blue Jackets earlier this week. They are 3-0 on home ice overall, after going just 18-20-3 at SAP Center last season. The last time they swept a homestand of at least three games was Dec. 9-20, 2014 (5-0-0).
Joe Thornton said: “It’s a good start. It’s really early on, but it’s nice the way we’ve been playing at home."
The Predators, meanwhile, have struggled through California and find themselves in last place in the Central. They got spanked by the Ducks on Wednesday, 6-1, and dropped an overtime decision to the Kings on Thursday, 3-2. Tonight is the fourth of a five-game road trip.
***Although it’s a rematch of last season’s second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Preds made one major transaction in the offseason, acquiring P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.
How does that change Nashville, Pete DeBoer?
“Shea Weber was a beast to play against physically and defensively also added some offense. He was a hard guy. P.K. brings some other things to the table that no one else really in the league does [other than] a handful of guys – Brent Burns, [Erik] Karlsson.
“Their defense has always been a key part of their offense, and that doesn’t change much more with P.K. there than it did with Weber, but he’s obviously a guy we have to be aware of.”
***San Jose has been getting plenty of pucks to the net, ranking fourth in the league in shots with 32.0. They haven’t scored a five-on-five goal, though, since the second period of their game in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20.
The Sharks lead the league in shots against, allowing just 24.9 per game.
DeBoer said: “The end of the [five-game road trip] was a little bit of a wake up call to our group that our attention to details and our compete level have to both be there every night. That’s what made us successful last year. I think the guys have dialed that in the last few games.”
Nashville isn't exactly lighting it up either with just seven even strength goals, tied for last in the league.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Joonas Donskoi. The second-year forward scored his first goal of the season on the power play Thursday. Although he has just three points (1g, 2a), Donskoi’s shot-attempt percentage is the best among Sharks forwards (61.54), suggesting he's on the path to picking up his scoring pace shortly.
Predators: P.K. Subban. The new Preds defenseman has five points so far (2g, 3a), four of which have come on the power play. He scored Nashville’s first goal of the season on Oct. 14 against Chicago, and has at least one point in four of seven games.
Mikkel Boedker – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Patrick Marleau – Tomas Hertl – Melker Karlsson
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Viktor Arvidsson – Ryan Johansen – James Neal
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Kevin Fiala
Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Craig Smith
Calle Jarnkrok – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson
Roman Josi – P.K. Subban
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber
Predators: Miikka Salomaki (upper body), Anthony Bitetto (upper body) and Cody Bass (upper body) are out.
“For whatever reason we’ve been putting good shots towards the net, we’ve been getting good opportunities, but whether it’s a post or a big save or an overturned call like [Thursday] night, we’re not able to put up six or seven goals right now. But, I think our team defense has been fantastic.” – Brenden Dillon