Series (Game 4 of 4)

San Jose leads 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, November 27th
Game 2: Sunday, December 23rd
Game 3: Tuesday, February 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 5th

Predators 2

(25-27-0, 60 pts)

Sharks 0

(32-20-3, 74 pts)

10:30 PM ET, March 5, 2002

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 1 12
SJ 0 0 00

M. Dunham (Predators - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: 1.000

D. Arkhipov (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Stuart (Sharks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Duncan gets the shutout for Nashville

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- For a team not known for its success on the road, the Predators certainly fooled the Sharks.

Evgeni Nabokov

San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov deflects a shot by Nashville's Kimmo Timonen.

Nashville, which has won just 10 games on the road this season, beat the Sharks 2-0 Tuesday night. Mike Dunham turned away 26 shots for his 11th career shutout.

"They played the perfect road game and we didn't respond," San Jose coach Darryl Sutter said.

Denis Arkhipov and Greg Johnson had goals for the Predators, who won the third of their last four trips to San Jose.

The Sharks have dropped three in a row after winning a franchise-record-tying seven in a row. The defeat snapped San Jose's five-game winning streak at home.

"We wanted to start strong defensively and keep them out of it from the start," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "When you're in the Shark Tank, the crowd can get into it and get them going, so we tried to keep them out."

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 16 shots for the Sharks, who lacked spark in their first game back after an extended five-game road trip stretched by the Olympic break.

The Sharks did not record their first shot on goal until 12:23 had passed in the first period -- and made just two shots overall in the first 20 minutes.

The Predators didn't fare much better, making just three shots in the first period.

The shooting -- on both sides -- got better in the second period. Dunham responded for the Predators, at one point fending off a breakaway by San Jose wing Marco Sturm.

With a little more than a minute to go in the second period, Arkhipov took a behind-the-net pass from Vitali Yachmenev and fired it past Nabokov.

It was Arkhipov's fifth goal in eight games, and his 16th of the season.

The Sharks missed an opportunity in the third period, when Teemu Selanne's shot on a stumbling Dunham went wide of the net. Afterward, Selanne pounded his stick in frustration.

Johnson scored on an empty net with 30 seconds to go in the game.

"That was the game they wanted, and we kind of played into their hands," said San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart.

With a little more than six minutes to go, Sharks captain Owen Nolan got into an all-out brawl with Nashville defenseman Cale Hulse, who ended up with a bloody nose. Both got five-minute fighting penalties.

The Sharks played with defenseman Bryan Marchment, who had faced a mandatory two-game suspension after his third fight-instigator penalty of the season on Sunday in Dallas. Upon review, however, the NHL rescinded the suspension.

But the Sharks were without defenseman Scott Hannan, who sprained his knee against the Stars. To fill the gap, they recalled defenseman Jeff Jillson from the Cleveland Barons.

Game notes

Even though he played for another country's team, Sharks' captain Owen Nolan got a hearty ovation from the home crowd when his Olympic gold medal was flashed on the video scoreboard. ... Jillson, San Jose's first-round choice in the 1999 NHL entry draft, has 13 points in 32 games for the Sharks this season. ... Sharks center Mike Ricci was scratched with a sore back. ... Trotz was impressed with defenseman Bubba Berenzweig, who played nearly 15 minutes in his first action since Jan. 8. "He had a real solid game. He looked like he wanted to stay in the lineup," Trotz said. Berenzweig missed a month with an injury and spent the past four weeks in the minors.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press