Series (Game 4 of 4)

Nashville leads 2-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 24th
Game 2: Thursday, November 7th
Game 3: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 4: Saturday, December 7th

Predators 4

(6-12-4, 20 pts)

Sharks 2

(10-13-2, 24 pts)

10:30 PM ET, December 7, 2002

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
NSH 1 1 24
SJ 1 1 02

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

T. Selanne (Sharks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Delmore (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Delmore scores winning goal on power play

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Tomas Vokoun was good when he needed to be, and that meant all the difference for the Nashville Predators.

Tomas Vokoun

Vokoun stopped 28 of 30 shots, including 15 of 16 in the first period, and the Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night.

Andy Delmore scored the game-winner with a power-play goal early in the third period and the Predators defense took care of the rest.

Kimmo Timonen and Vernon Fiddler also scored for the Predators, who have won consecutive games for the first time this season.

"They dominated us in the first 30 minutes,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We got mixed up and out of synch. It could have been over early, but Tomas came up with a couple of big saves.''

Vincent Damphousse and Teemu Selanne scored for the Sharks, who had won two straight, including Friday night's 3-2 win over Columbus in coach Ron Wilson's debut. No San Jose coach has ever started 2-0.

"We need to bottle the first 30 minutes when we got up 2-1,'' Wilson said. "We couldn't stick with it long enough to finish. It got away from us with sloppy play and their goaltender made some really key saves.''

Delmore recorded his ninth power-play goal -- tops among NHL defenseman -- by firing a shot past Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov from the blue line on the left side.

"In some ways, we stole the game,'' Trotz said. "They didn't capitalize on some of their chances and we got a couple of lucky bounces, some timely saves and timely goals. The hockey gods evened it up for us. We feel fortunate because we've been on the other end.''

Timonen got the Predators on the scoreboard first when his shot on goal was deflected off the stick of San Jose defenseman Jeff Jillson with 6:57 left in the first period.

The Sharks tied it three minutes later when Vokoun couldn't handle Damphousse's shot, letting the puck dribble past the line. Owen Nolan took a shot that rebounded off Vokoun to Damphousse.

Selanne gave San Jose a 2-1 lead with his team-leading 15th goal midway through the second period on a power-play goal from in front of the net. Scott Hannan drew Vokoun's attention before he dished off to Selanne, who has 19 points -- nine goals -- in 19 career games against Nashville.

Fiddler scored his fourth goal to tie it 2-2. Brent Gilchrist threw the puck toward the net after winning a faceoff, and Fiddler punched it past Nabokov.

"I wasn't able to find the puck at the right time,'' said Nabokov, who made 18 saves. "I wasn't quick enough.''

The Sharks converted just one of seven power plays.

Scott Walker added an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left.

"They threw everything at us early and we weathered the storm, thanks to Tomas,'' Trotz said. "He was solid, moving around and forcing the puck in the air.''

Game notes

After their road game at Anaheim on Sunday, the Predators play 12 of their next 15 games at home. ... Timonen's previous 13 points all came on the power play. ... D Dan McGillis made his debut with the Sharks. ... Sharks LW Scott Thornton needs two assists for 100. ... Nashville entered 28th in the league in penalty-killing on the road, while the Sharks are 28th overall in penalty-killing.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press