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Preds Ruin Hometown Hero Hertl’s Return to Prague 4-1

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PRAGUE — The San Jose Sharks are the “road” team on opening night in Prague. Hometown hero Tomas Hertl got the Sharks on the board after an early Nashville Predators goal, but the Preds spoiled his homecoming and pulled out the 4-1 victory.

Period 1

Sherwood goal: Not a good shift by Couture. He turns it over in the OZ, then gets beat one on one by Sherwood in front.

Corey Masisak had a theory, a smart one, that the San Jose Sharks would overload usage of their top power play unit of Karlsson-Couture-Hertl-Meier-Kunin, because their second unit was less than overwhelming. The Caps with Ovechkin have done this in recent years. But at the one-minute mark, the second unit came on.

GOTTA SEE IT: Hometown Hero Hertl Scores in Prague

On ensuing PP though, should be noted the top unit took like a minute and a half. So looks like they have the license to extend.

7 left: San Jose Sharks 2-on-1 started by nifty Mario Ferraro turn and escape from Nashville forecheck pressure, I think Jeannot. That’s a real good play.

6 left: Sissons tried to bully Lindblom down low, but Lindblom wasn’t having it. Sissons just bounced off. There’s your new San Jose Sharks.

5 left: Puck behind Saros, Gadjovich beat Carrier to shovel it to the front. Not sure if that was happening last year for Gadj? That was good.

3 left: Couture tracked back well there, stayed with his man. What could’ve been dangerous wasn’t.

2 left: Dead giveaway by Harrington leads to golden Preds chance that Reimer erases.

Period 2

Simpler but good pass by Harrington on wall, pressure, springs Sharks’ 3-on-2. But then Karlsson pass to Meier misses, into skates, Preds go other way on 2-on-1, but offsides. First game of the year execution!

Tolvanen goal: That’s a deadly shot to leave on the fourth line. Reimer will probably want that back from that angle though. Was it tipped?

Gadjovich-Borowiecki fight, Boro gets off to quick start, but Gadjovich rallies and wrestles him down. Calling draw.

Meier just rang a bar, after Hertl did in opening frame.

Hertl and Kunin to start PK, with Vlasic and Ferraro. Ferraro stick deflects Duchene pass out.

8 left: Gassed Vlasic had puck in corner, couldn’t get to it. Reimer saves top PK by vacumning puck. Now Nieto and Bonino out. Karlsson played ahead of Harrington on PK (Benning in box).

6 left: Now Meier with Couture line. Lindblom hasn’t left bench. Hmm.  But next shift, there’s Lindblom with Logan.

Niederreiter goal: Harrington goes for a hit maybe he shouldn’t, leaving Reimer on 2-on-1. Simek doesn’t appear to defend the 2-on-1 well either, pass goes through, a gimme goal.

3 left: Bad San Jose Sharks line change, Johansen breakaway, Reimer save.

Period 3

Now Couture and Nieto to start PK, still Vlasic-Ferraro behind them. Kunin in box. Forwards seem like they could be mixed like this on PK.

Gadjovich OZ penalty, yikes. Wrong time for sure. Now Kunin, Couture to start. Maybe Sharks have 5-6 PK forwards they trust, they’ll just mix.

San Jose Sharks forward corps are better than last year’s, but at moment, not doing enough to turn tide, even create serious momentum.

Now a tough OZ penalty by Nieto as he’s trying to make something happen.

Now Sturm between Lorentz and Gregor. Wonder if we see a line shuffle tomorrow. Now Couture taking Kunin’s spot on top line. Definitely an offensive push.

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