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Power play clicks in Sharks' 2-1 win over Nashville

  • San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) works against Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) for the puck in front of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

SAN JOSE — A long dormant Sharks power play came to life Saturday night, and the Sharks skated away with a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators.

It was only the second regulation win for San Jose in the past 15 games and maybe a sign that March will not be as cruel as February.

Power-play goals by Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski provided just enough offense as goalie Antti Niemi made 18 saves, giving up only a late short-handed goal to Gabriel Bourque on a breakaway.

Overshadowed by San Jose's overall misery in February was a power play that went a meager 2-for-47 the entire month.

But with Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein in the penalty box for slashing Logan Couture, San Jose took a 1-0 lead at 17:47 of the first period when Boyle's one-timer from the blue line beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

Pavelski provided a screen on that shot, but at 9:12 of the second period, it was Pavelski who pounced on a loose puck to the side of the net before Nashville could clear it, and the Sharks had a 2-0 lead. That time it was Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the box for tripping Andrew Desjardins.

The pressure had been on Sharks defensemen to get more shots on net and Boyle, an offensive-minded player who didn't have any in the previous game against the Detroit Red Wings, had talked about how difficult it has been lately for shots to get through.

"Teams are doing a much better job of blocking shots," Boyle said before Saturday night's game. "I compare myself to when I first started playing — I wouldn't say it was easy, but it was certainly not as difficult as it is today."

Against Nashville, however, Boyle's shot made it all the way to the back of the net for his third goal of the season and first since the second game of the season.

The Sharks salvaged one game in their season series against the Predators, having lost 1-0 in a shootout at HP Pavilion on Feb. 2 and 2-1 in overtime in Nashville on Feb. 12.


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