Team Achievement - Hockey Wiretap
Sharks Win Team-Record 9th Straight Road Game
Steve Bernier helped the San Jose Sharks set a team record. Bernier had a goal and two assists in the Sharks' 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators 5-2 Saturday night, winning a franchise-record ninth straight road game. Joe Thornton and Milan Michalek each had two assists for San Jose. Marcel Goc, Craig Rivet, Matthew Carle and Torrey Mitchell also scored for the Sharks. J.P. Dumont and Alexander Radulov scored for the Predators. "We have had to be really patient on the road," said Goc. "When we are patient we don't have the breakdowns. The Predators scored two quick goals on us, but that happens. We kept with our game pla,n and it is working."
U.S. Collects World Junior Championship Victory
Kyle Okposo, the former Minnesota player set to sign with the New York Islanders, had a goal and an assist to help the United States open the World Junior Hockey Championships with a 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Okposo, selected seventh overall in the NHL 2006 draft, left the Golden Gophers last week and has begun negotiations with the Islanders on an entry-level contract. Denver's Tyler Ruegsegger and New Hampshire's James vanRiemsdyk also each had a goal and assist, and Boston University's Colin Wilson and Minnesota's Mike Carman added goals. Jeremy Smith, who plays for Plymouth in the Ontario Hockey League, made 17 saves, allowing only Alexander Kurshuk's game-opening goal. In the other Group B game, Russia beat Finland 7-4. In Group A play in Pardubice, John Tavares scored twice in three-time defending champion Canada's 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic, and Sweden beat Slovakia 4-3.
Sharks Top Canucks, Move Into 2nd Place
If anybody still doubts the San Jose Sharks after their painfully slow start at home, Coach Ron Wilson wishes to refer them to the standings. "We're second in the Western Conference, and that's all that really matters," Wilson said Thursday night. "We are where we are where we are. We keep playing like this going forward, and we don't have to worry about what our record was at home in the first two months of the regular season." Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, Evgeni Nabokov made 15 saves, and the Sharks beat Vancouver 5-2 for their sixth victory in seven games, using their speed on two early goals and capitalizing on the Canucks' mistakes for the final two tallies. Milan Michalek, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who won consecutive home games for just the second time all season to stay in a first-place tie with Dallas in the Pacific Division, passing Vancouver for second place in the conference standings.
NHL-Best Wings Win Seventh Straight
Concentrating on protecting a one-goal lead in the third period, Detroit goalie Chris Osgood couldn't help but notice how Valtteri Filppula was still zipping around the ice. Tomas Kopecky and Filppula scored first-period goals, and the Red Wings won their seventh straight, 2-1 over the Nashville Predators. "He was still flying around in the third period," Osgood said. "He has a ton of energy. He is a big, strong kid. As we go along he gets better and better. He is getting more minutes, and he is doing really well with them." Filppula was awarded a penalty shot after he was tripped by Jerred Smithson while he skated toward the net at 15:06 in the first. Predators' goalie Dan Ellis went low to block the shot, and Filppula shot it over the goalie for a 2-0 lead. "I'm glad that was called," Filppula said. "I could not get a shot off after that. I think that is the biggest reason the penalty shot was called." "He just hit my legs. I think it was a pretty clear tripping call."
Predators' $193M Sale Now Complete
Predators Holdings LLC announced Friday that it has completed its $193 million purchase of the Nashville Predators from Craig Leipold, ending months of uncertainty over the team's future. The new owners immediately took over operation of the team and management of the team's arena, the Sommet Center. "On behalf of the ownership group, we are thrilled to complete the sale," said David Freeman, chairman of Predators Holdings LLC. "We look forward to contributing to the Predators' success on and off the ice and solidifying the franchise's future in Nashville."