Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
The mighty have finally fallen and the San Jose Sharks have a single blemish on their superlative start to the 2013 season. The Predators bested the Sharks in a highly contested defensive battle in the shootout giving the Sharks their first loss on the year (7-0-1).
It was hard fought and not the kind of game many would have pegged the Sharks and Predators to play. The NOS-level octane that the Sharks have on offense with Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski and Couture, who all are in the top fifteen in points, were stifled in this contest. The lone goal scorer for San Jose was long time Pred-killer Martin Havlat on the power play with a nifty backhand beating Pekka Rinne under his arm.
At the beginning of the third period, it was Sergei Kostitsyn netting his first of the year with a brilliant feed from Colin Wilson in the slot and with a slight hesitation, Kostitsyn wristed the shot past Niemi for the Predators to take a one goal lead.
With the game tied by Havlat’s PP marker, the game would go to overtime (surprise) and David Legwand would get a point blank chance to stuff home a backhand of his own but Niemi made the great pad save to send the contest to the shootout. Pekka Rinne was dialed in and stopped every Shark attempt. Craig Smith, scoring in back to back shootouts, faked out the goalie when he skated hard up the ice and roofed the backhand over a sprawling Niemi.
Powerplay – 0 for 5, 0%
Penalty Kill – 4 for 5, 80%
Best Play of the Game: Kostitsyn finally rips a shot on goal and gets rewarded with his first goal of the year.
Worst Play of the Game: With San Jose crashing hard in the last 10 minutes of the game, the Predators take an ill-timed too many men on the ice penalty and Martin Havlat scores to tie the game.
My Three Stars:
#1: – Pekka Rinne
#2: – Sergei Kostitsyn
#3: – Martin Havlat
See you Tuesday night as the Predators travel back to St. Louis to take on the Blues in the last game of this 7-game road trip. Game is at 7:00pm CT