The San Jose Sharks did not let off the gas one bit, as they shutout the Nashville Predators at home in the SAP Center by a score of 5-0 on Thursday night.
The Game 7 win gives San Jose the series and advancement into the Western Conference finals on Sunday. It will be their first trip to the conference finals since 2011, and fourth trip in franchise history.
Nashville Predators goaltender, Pekka Rinne, sure was not playing like himself on Friday. He allowed five goals before being pulled and being replaced by backup Carter Hutton in the third period.
The game started relatively fast in comparison to most games in the series, but a no score had been recorded for the first several minutes. At about 8:22 into the first period, however, a Viktor Arvidsson delay of game penalty would set up a Joe Pavelski score less than a minute later.
Less than five minutes before the end of the first period, Sharks’ forward Joel Ward would net one more goal to make the score 2-0 heading into intermission.
It was all San Jose from that point on. Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau would all score without an answer by Nashville to make it 5-0.
Statistically, the game is quite lopsided in favor of San Jose. They outshot Nashville 27-20 (23-8 through two periods) and recorded 10 takeaways (over Nashville’s four). Nashville had also gave away the puck to San Jose a total of 21 times.
San Jose goaltender Martin Jones had also recorded his first career postseason shutout, in addition to clinching his second career postseason series win as a starter.
With the win, the San Jose Sharks will set off to St. Louis to face the Blues in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 is set to begin Sunday at 7:00pm CDT / 5:00 PDT.
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