SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter each scored twice, and the Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Thursday night.
Granlund has nine goals this season. Niederreiter extended his goal streak to three games. Yakov Trenin and Tommy Novak also scored for Nashville.
Matt Duchene had three assists, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves for his 22nd win of the season.
”Throughout the night, the whole 60 minutes, we were pretty solid,” Granlund said. ”We were creating chances and playing hard. So I mean, just a really good team effort and it was a fun game to play.”
Nico Sturm got his 11th goal and Martin Kaut scored his first for the Sharks. James Reimer made 24 saves.
”Pretty lifeless performance by the group overall,” Sturm said.
”We’re obviously not looking too good on the standings. But I thought at least one thing that was always going for us this year is that the group was competing hard,” he added. ”We’ve always looked like everybody was trying and found a reason to play for something.”
Niederreiter’s first goal came 6:24 into the first period on a power play. Reimer was heavily screened on the play.
Granlund scored his first of the night in the second period by sneaking the puck through traffic and getting it past Reimer.
While on the penalty kill, Sturm zipped down the ice to grab a puck that had left the defensive zone. He beat Predators defenseman Roman Josi to the puck and picked the far corner on Saros for a short-handed goal.
Nashville scored twice more in the second. On the first one, Granlund and Philip Tomasino completed a pretty 2-on-1.
”He has a lot of skill. He can make some plays. It was a great pass by him,” Granlund said. ”Like I said, throughout the lineup, we were making plays.”
Trenin added his eighth of the season while shorthanded with 30 seconds to go in the period.
”Our PK has had some tough luck lately. They’ve been working really hard,” Duchene said. ”I think tonight was a great effort for them, and it was nice to see them get rewarded with a goal.”
Kaut beat Saros short side 50 seconds into the third for his second goal of the season. Kaut was acquired last month in a trade with Colorado.
”There were some good things. Nice to see Kaut get a goal. I thought Tommy Hertl had a pretty good night. There were some bright spots, but you have to sift through a lot of bad to find the good,” Sharks coach David Quinn said.
Niederreiter sent a pass in front, where San Jose forward Noah Gregor knocked the puck into his own net. It was Niederreiter’s 18th goal of the season.
Novak scored his eighth goal on the power play. Duchene made a great feed for his third assist of the game.
”It was a fun game. I thought that we played with good energy (and) good speed,” Predators coach John Hynes said. ”I thought our execution with the puck was good from an offensive perspective. I thought we played with a lot of purpose to our game.”
The Predators announced Wednesday that forward Ryan Johansen had surgery and will miss 12 weeks.
Sharks forward Timo Meier missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury.
Predators: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
Sharks: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
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