Programming note: Predators-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7pm with Sharks Playoff Central on CSN Plus. The game is on NBCSN at 7:30pm.
Game 1: Friday, April 29, Predators @ Sharks (7:30 p.m.)
Game 2: Sunday, May 1, Predators @ Sharks (5:00 p.m.)
Game 3: Tuesday, May 3, Sharks @ Predators (6:00 p.m.)
Game 4: Thursday, May 5, Sharks @ Predators (6:00 p.m.)
*Game 5: Saturday, May 7, Predators @ Sharks (TBD)
*Game 6: Monday, May 9, Sharks @ Predators (TBD)
*Game 7: Wednesday, May 12, Predators @ Sharks (TBD)
* - if necessary
First round recap
Sharks: The Sharks eliminated their biggest rival in the first round, needing just five games to get past the Kings. San Jose won the first two on the road, split the next two at home, and closed it out at Staples Center last Friday. Brent Burns led the Sharks in points with eight (2g, 6a) while Joe Pavelski scored a series-leading five goals. In his first stint as a playoff starter, Martin Jones posted a 4-1 record with a 2.18 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in net.
Predators: Despite trailing three-games-to-two to Anaheim, the Predators upset the Ducks in the first round in seven games. Three of Nashville’s wins came on the road at Honda Center, including Game 7 on Wednesday. Shea Weber and Colin Wilson each had five points, with two goals and three assists each. The Preds were just 1-for-26 on the power play in the series.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Joe Pavelski. The captain scored at least one goal in each of the Sharks’ four wins, including the game-winner in Game 1 in Los Angeles. His five goals place him in third in the NHL, as tied his career high for most goals in a playoff series (2010 Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. Colorado). Pavelski has 31 goals and 31 assists for 62 points in 86 career playoff games.
Predators: Ryan Johansen. Nashville’s new top line center posted one goal and two assists against the Ducks, and has had success against the Sharks in his career, averaging nearly a point-per-game (7g, 6a in 14 games) with a plus-seven rating. After a Jan. 6 trade with Nashville, Johansen tallied 34 points (8g, 26a) in 42 games with the Preds.
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Patrick Marleau – Melker Karlsson
Nick Spaling – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Roman Polak
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – James Neal
Calle Jarnkrok – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith
Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Viktor Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki – Paul Gaustad – Colton Sissons
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Anthony Bitetto – Barret Jackman
Goals per game: 3.20
Goals-against per game: 2.20
Power play: 23.8 percent
Penalty kill: 78.6 percent
Goals per game: 2.00
Goals-against per game: 2.57
Power play: 3.8 percent
Penalty kill: 84.0 percent
Predators: Cody Bass (lower body) is day-to-day.
Sharks playoff record when…
The Sharks are 11-6 when winning the first game of a playoff series, and 4-11 when losing Game 1.
They are 17-15 in all-time in Game 1’s, including 8-7 at home.
Odds and ends
*This marks the 12th time the Sharks have advanced to the second round of the playoffs, and first since 2013.
*The Sharks and Predators met in the playoffs twice before, in 2006 and 2007 in the first round. San Jose won both series in five games.
*San Jose has not been in the Western Conference Final since making back-to-back appearance in 2010 and 2011. The Predators have never advanced past the second round.
*The Sharks are 91-95 all-time in the playoffs; Nashville is 25-38.
*Head coaches Pete DeBoer and Peter Laviolette met once before in the playoffs in 2012. DeBoer’s Devils beat Laviolette’s Flyers in five games in the second round.
“They skate really well, they move pucks really well. Last series we had to deal with Drew [Doughty], this series we have to deal with Shea [Weber]. … We’ll have to burn our legs in this series.” – Joe Thornton, on the challenges presented by the Predators defensemen