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Mar 18, 2024 7:18 pm

Predators go for 15-game point streak against hapless Sharks

roman josi

The Nashville Predators can extend their point streak to 15 games when they host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

Nashville (39-25-4, 82 points) holds a three-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Predators, 12-0-2 in their past 14 games, can match their longest point streak in franchise history, a 15-game run during the 2017-18 season.

The Predators concluded a 3-0-1 road trip with a 4-1 win at the Seattle Kraken on Saturday. Nashville has not lost in regulation since Feb. 15, a 9-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

“Obviously, the point streak is awesome, because you need the points,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “But I think the way we’ve been playing is a lot of fun. I feel like every night we’re working really hard, we’re playing fast and every guy works extremely hard and we play as a team.”

Josi scored two goals in the third period, Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist and Ryan McDonagh and Mark Jankowski each had two assists. Juuse Saros made 23 saves.

“That’s the reason (Josi is) probably, in my opinion, the world’s best defenseman,” coach Andrew Brunette said. “He just does stuff like he did today. He takes over games and we lean on him all the time, both for his play and for his leadership.”

It was Josi’s 19th career multi-goal game and he has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games. Forsberg recorded his 22nd multi-point game of the season, matching his career high from 2021-22.

On Monday, the Predators recalled defenseman Marc Del Gaizo from American Hockey League affiliate Milwaukee.

The last-place Sharks (16-44-7, 39 points) are working on a different kind of streak. They have lost four straight games and 13 of 14 (1-11-2).

San Jose took a 2-0 lead before dropping a 5-2 decision at the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday in the second of back-to-back games. Ryan Carpenter and Klim Kostin scored for the Sharks, and 26-year-old Devin Cooley made 26 saves in his NHL debut.

Trailing 2-1, the Blackhawks took over the game with three goals in a span of less than two minutes.

“When they got the one to tie it up, we just couldn’t overcome our mistakes,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “Our mistakes were just too big. The mistakes were just too big in critical times and in critical areas. Didn’t do enough to win.”

Cooley stopped 22 of 23 shots over the first two periods as he became the first player from Santa Clara County — where San Jose is located — to play a game for the Sharks.

“I thought he played well,” Quinn said of Cooley. “Made some big saves early and I thought he played well. I feel bad that we weren’t able to bring it to the finish line for him because I thought he deserved it.”

Kostin has two goals and two assists in five games since being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings.

Nashville defeated San Jose 5-1 at home on Oct. 21, and 4-2 at San Jose on Feb. 24.

–Field Level Media

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