NHL Game Summary - Nashville at San Jose
(Thursday, March 11th)
Final Score: San Jose 8, Nashville 5
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Pavelski registered two goals and two assists in the third period, as the San Jose Sharks scored six times over the final 20 minutes to rally past the Nashville Predators, 8-5, at HP Pavilion.
Dany Heatley added two goals and a helper, while Manny Malhotra finished with a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who have won three straight on their five-game homestand that ends Saturday against Florida.
San Jose's Patrick Marleau reached the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career, and Joe Thornton also tallied as the Sharks moved two points ahead of Chicago in the race for the Western Conference's top seed.
Evgeni Nabokov made 40 saves to pick up the win, his 37th of the season, which matches Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick for the league lead.
"It's a catch-22 thing to have any type of success," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "This isn't going to happen again. If it does, it will be a miracle. For us to be successful, we have to have everybody on board for the first 40 minutes, not just the last 15."
Patric Hornqvist and J.P. Dumont each had two goals for Nashville, which has lost three of four but is still clinging to seventh place in the West standings.
Starting goaltender Dan Ellis was victimized for six goals on 23 shots before he was relieved by Pekka Rinne late in the third. Rinne faced only two shots and yielded the goal to Marleau.
"There were sort of horrendous things that happened," said Preds head coach Barry Trotz. "The goaltender misplays the puck and they get it, then we come back and show come character and tie it, 5-5. Then a really bad goal for the sixth, and that sort of destroyed us at that point."
Down 4-2 after two periods, San Jose pumped in three consecutive goals.
Heatley and Malhotra scored 1:36 apart to tie the game at 5:16, then Pavelski capitalized on a turnover deep in the Nashville zone six minutes later to put the Sharks on top. The U.S. Olympian walked out of the far corner and fired a shot past the glove of Ellis.
Dumont redirected Kevin Klein's one-timer from the point for a 5-5 stalemate at 13:26. However, Pavelski spun around and slid a backhander along the ice and through the pads of Ellis 1:14 later to restore the lead.
Marleau provided some breathing room with 2:26 remaining. Jay Leach's first NHL goal -- an empty-netter -- sealed the come-from-behind win for San Jose.
Hornqvist and Heatley traded goals in the first period before the former lit the lamp again at the 4:29 mark of the middle frame for a 2-1 Nashville lead.
Thornton swooped in and stashed a rebound on the power play less than two minutes later, but Dumont produced another goal on a deflection with the man advantage, altering the path of a Cody Franson offering through heavy traffic, to put the visitors back on top at 11:31.
A distinct kicking motion negated a tally for Nashville's Dustin Boyd with 5:56 to play, but rookie Colin Wilson made it 4-2 on a redirection moments after the officials' ruling.
San Jose won three of the four games in the season series...The Sharks improved to 22-6-7 at home...Dumont's second goal was the 500th point of his career...Nashville defenseman Shea Weber returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury.
03/12 03:13:39 ET