Fisher goal downs Sharks in marathon OT win

Predators Win 3OT Thriller, Even Series
Predators Win 3OT Thriller, Even Series

(The Sports Xchange) - Mike Fisher ended the longest game in Nashville Predators history with a rebound goal at 11:12 of the third overtime early on Friday morning, giving them a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks to tie the Western Conference semifinal at 2-2.

Fisher pounced on a shot by Mattias Ekholm for his second goal of the nearly five-hour game as Nashville withstood a fierce San Jose attack during the overtime periods.

Pekka Rinne made 44 stops for the Predators and Martin Jones came up with 41 saves for the Sharks.

Game 5 is Saturday night in San Jose, with Game 6 set for Monday night in Nashville.

The Sharks controlled the second overtime with an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal, but they couldn't capitalize on a late power play. Rinne starred with a pair of huge stops on Tomas Hertl at point-blank range.

Earlier in the second overtime, the Sharks killed a penalty on Joe Thornton.

San Jose's Joe Pavelski had a potential game-winning goal at 7:34 of the first overtime waved off by the referees. A replay review confirmed the call, citing Pavelski for contacting Rinne.

Nashville outshot the Sharks 11-9 in the first OT, almost ending it when Ryan Johansen's wrister from the slot beat Jones but banged off the right goalpost -- the fourth post or crossbar the Predators hit in the game.

San Jose appeared to steal momentum at 6:48 of the third period on Brent Burns' second goal of the game, five seconds into a power play. With Barret Jackman in the penalty box for kneeing Chris Tierney, Burns ripped a point blast over Rinne.

It was Burns' fourth goal and 13th point of the playoffs.

However, Nashville forced overtime as James Neal roofed a wrister over Jones at 15:39 for his fourth goal of the postseason after the Sharks were unable to clear against steady pressure.

It took Nashville just 41 seconds to start the scoring as Colin Wilson punched a backhand home from the doorstep for his fourth postseason goal. Wilson tallied just six regular season goals, but has scored in five straight postseason games.

San Jose equalized at 3:08 on a wrister by Burns from the right faceoff circle. The Predators regained the lead at 9:50 when Mike Fisher pounced on the rebound of a James Neal shot for his third playoff marker.

The Sharks tied the game at 14:09 of the second period as their first power play ended, Joonas Donskoi scoring his third postseason goal with a wrister. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette challenged on the basis that Joel Ward was offside.

After a long review, it was ruled that Ward legally tagged up when San Jose gained possession in the Predators' defensive zone and the goal stood, drawing the considerable ire of a sellout crowd.

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