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Preds fail to play 60 minutes once again, lose to Sharks…

They may be the West’s best team but the Predators proved, if given the chance, they can beat them.

Well, if games were only 40 minutes long.

The San Jose Sharks beat the visiting Nashville Predators 8-5 in a wild one that saw convincing leads by both clubs, 13 goals and 80 shots on goal.

Patric Hornqvist and JP Dumont each scored twice but the Preds couldn’t stop the onslaught once the third period started. Nashville outshot the Sharks 34-11 and led by a score of 4-2 going into the second intermission. But then it became the Joe Pavelski show.

Of the six – count ’em SIX – San Jose goals in the third period, Pavelski had a hand in four of them, finishing the game with two goals and two assists.

The Preds didn’t exactly dominate the opening two periods but they did excel in all facets of the game. They applied constant pressure on the power play, they were throwing pucks at the net and they even got consistent traffic in front of Evgeni Nabokov, all of which directly led to their 4-2 lead going into the third.

The loss reminded many Preds fans of the game this past Sunday afternoon when the Preds squandered a 2-1 lead in the third period to the Vancouver Canucks. In a game they had no business winning, Nashville let them climb back in it and get some timely goal scoring for the victory.

Thursday night’s game out in Northern California had the same feel. A very confident Preds team doing everything right through the opening 40 minutes and then a total train derailment in the final 20.

Barry Trotz’s club, fortunately, won’t get much time to dwell on how this got away from them as they play the Anaheim Ducks Friday night at the Honda Center.

* With the goal and assist, rookie Colin Wilson bagged his first multi-point game in the NHL. He also has a two-game goal scoring streak and a three-game point streak.
* When Hornqvist scored in the first period, it was his first goal since February 4 against Colorado.
* David Legwand – one of the team’s highest paid players – still hasn’t scored a goal since January 2.
* Defenseman Shea Weber returned to the lineup tonight, only to find an unflattering minus-5 rating waiting for him.
* Ryan Suter, Weber’s defensive partner, didn’t fare any better. He posted a minus-6.
* The back-up for the evening, Pekka Rinne, got some action toward the end of the game. Dan Ellis surrendered a soft goal just after the Preds tied it up in the third period, prompting Trotz to call on Rinne.
* With his second goal of the night, Dumont tallied his 500th NHL point.

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