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Predators blanks Sharks, 'under' cashes

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Colin Wilson scored at 2:08 of overtime, and the Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 Tuesday night to snap a two-game skid.

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Pekka Rinne made 25 saves for his second shutout this season in a game in which Nashville set a franchise mark for offensive futility before Wilson scored. The goal ended the drought at just over 176 minutes in a three-game span.

San Jose has lost six straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins, a streak ended in a 2-1 shootout loss to Nashville on Feb. 2. The Sharks took their timeout with 32.8 seconds left in regulation, and Antti Niemi gloved a shot from Gabriel Bourque with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Six of the past eight games between these teams have gone past regulation. Wilson got the win for Nashville when he tipped a shot from defenseman Ryan Ellis past Niemi.

Nashville got a bit of luck nearly a minute into overtime. Rinne made a save and was sprawled on his belly when the puck dribbled just pass his outstretched skate behind him in the crease toward the goal line. Bourque swooped in to clear the puck, giving the Predators a chance at the win.

The Predators topped the 166:44 scoreless skid, that had been the longest in franchise history, set between Dec. 4-10, 2000. They lost 2-1 in overtime in Minnesota on Saturday before being shut out by Chicago on Sunday and added another 60 scoreless minutes against San Jose, finishing regulation with the drought at 174 minutes, 10 seconds.

The Sharks had the quick turnaround after losing their fifth straight game at Columbus 6-2 on Monday night.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz gave the Predators the day off Monday after back-to-back games over the weekend. The rest didn't help Nashville's offense. The Predators are last in the NHL, averaging 21.1 shots per game with less than 20 in four of the past six games.

San Jose came out shooting and had a 13-3 edge after the first period. The offense dwindled in the second as the Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play.

Rinne kept the game scoreless after Predators forward Martin Erat matched his career high with eight penalty minutes, all in the second period. He was given a double minor for high-sticking less than 2 minutes into the period, took another penalty for holding a stick, and negated a Nashville power play when he was called for hooking at 11:05.

The Nashville goalie helped kill off 41 seconds of a 5-on-3 when Nick Spaling joined Erat in the box at 12:24, earning a big roar from the fans when he gloved a shot during the two-man advantage. Fans cheered the Predators again once they killed the rest of the Sharks' power play.

Notes: Both the U.S. women's national soccer team and Scotland, who will play an exhibition Wednesday night in Nashville, were at the game. ... Rinne has 27 career shutouts. ... The Sharks recalled C Tim Kennedy from the Worcester of the AHL. He was in the lineup. ... Erat also had eight penalty minutes on Jan. 17, 2008, against Anaheim. ... Nashville has gotten at least a point in nine of 10 games against San Jose. ... Nashville announced its 18th straight sellout.

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The Associated Press
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