Nashville Predators 41-21-7
San Jose Sharks 34-25-10
Will Andrei Kostitsyn continue to be a dominant offensive force?
The Nashville Predators continue their road trip through most of the Pacific Division this week as they visit San Jose on Thursday night. Nashville is 5-2-0 in seven road games against the Pacific Division this season.
The Predators will try to maintain their momentum in their effort to catch the Detroit Red Wings for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. Entering Wednesday night’s action, the Predators were just two points behind the Red Wings with a game in hand. Detroit plays Anaheim at 9 pm CT. The Red Wings will attempt to pull four points ahead of Nashville.
Thursday’s game will be the final meeting during the regular season between the Predators and Sharks. Nashville has a 2-1-0 record against San Jose this season. Games between San Jose and Nashville are usually hotly contested affairs as 13 out of the last 17 games between the two clubs have been decided by one goal.
Picking up points in their last two games, the Sharks are fighting for their playoff lives and are currently in a four-way tie for eighth place in the Western Conference standings. San Jose has a 2-5-3 record in their last 10 contests, making the Sharks desperate for a win over Nashville to regain momentum to keep their division title hopes alive. At 78 points, the Sharks are having a difficult time keeping pace with the division-leading Dallas stars, winners of 6 straight games that have sported a 9-0-1 record in their last 10 games.
While Nashville has the second best power play in the League with a success rate of 21.1 percent, San Jose is just behind with the third highest rank power play at 20.7 percent success rate. The Sharks power play may be impressive but the penalty kill is ranked 28th in the League at 78.5 percent kill off rate. The Predators are 11th in the penalty kill with an 82.9 percent kill off rate.
While the Predators have plenty of forwards to choose from to fill out the roster, the Predators are down two defensemen to injuries. Kevin Klein and Roman Josi are both out of the lineup with upper-body injuries.
Martin Havlat is out for San Jose with a hamstring injury.
The Predators will conclude their four-game road trip with back-to-back contests against Los Angeles and Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday.