Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Sharks vs. Predators

San Jose forward Nick Spaling explains why Brent Burns is a real game changer for the Sharks, who's fun to watch, but has no idea what he keeps in his infamous back pack.

The San Jose Sharks slayed their dragon by defeating the Los Angeles Kings in an entertaining six-game series.

They’ll be taking on the underdog Nashville Predators who just upset the Pacific Division champs in the Anaheim Ducks.

San Jose will start with home-ice advantage.

Here’s a look at how the two teams match up.

ADVANCED STATS:
Sharks: 5on5CF% – 51.7; 5on5Sv% – .923; 5on5Sh% – 7.79; PDO = 100.1
Predators: 5on5CF% – 52.5; 5on5Sv% – 92.20; 5on5Sh% – 7.26; PDO – 99.5
(via stats.hockeyanalysis.com)

Head-to-head
San Jose: 1-2-0
Nashville: 2-0-1

LAST GAME PLAYED HEAD-TO-HEAD:

The Sharks had to mount a comeback against the Predators in early April, doing so when Logan Couture scored the winner in a shootout to take it 3-2.

LAST TIME THEY MET IN THE PLAYOFFS:

It’s been a while but the Sharks and Preds have faced off twice in the post-season, in 2005-06 and in ’06-’07 when San Jose cruised to a 4-1 series victory. Peter Forsberg potted a couple of goals for the Preds in a losing cause, Tomas Vokoun was the backstop in Nashville and Patrick Marleau scored the series-winner in Game 5.

SAN JOSE’S HIGHLIGHT OF ROUND 1:

Even with a 3-1 series lead, the Sharks were far from eliminating the Los Angeles Kings. Remember, they blew a 3-0 series lead in 2014 (because I’m sure you needed the reminder). So this beautiful toe drag, top shelf snipe by Joonas Donskoi to put the Sharks up 1-0 early in Game 5 was a huge table setter. The Sharks did take a 3-0 lead in the game that they blew, but rather than fold, they were the ones to respond and came away with a 6-3 victory to eliminate the Kings. This year is different.

NASHVILLE’S HIGHLIGHT OF ROUND 1:

This is what GM David Poile was hoping to see when he acquired his franchise centre Ryan Johansen in a trade for Seth Jones.

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