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Niemi, Sharks make a stop in Nashville

While the San Jose Sharks continue to test the waters of time scorer before the trade deadline, getting goaltender Antti Niemi on track could have an even bigger impact.

The Sharks try to win back-to-back games for the first time this month as they visit the Nashville Predators.

San Jose has gone 4-6-1 in February and hasn't won consecutive outings since a three-game win streak from Jan. 24-Feb. 2. It has a chance to do so this evening after knocking off Toronto 2-1 on Thursday.

The Sharks, who are rumored to be interested in the Blue Jackets' Rick Nash, got both their goals from Patrick Marleau. He broke a scoreless game 32 seconds into the second period and added a power-play marker at the 10:43 mark of the frame.

More importantly, Niemi made 29 saves to help the Sharks snap a four-game slide and improve them to 2-4-1 on a nine-game road trip that ends on Sunday in Minnesota. He had allowed 12 goals over his previous three outings and was pulled before the end of the first period of Tuesday's loss in Columbus.

"[Niemi] looked very confident. His teammates felt good about his game. It looks like we have Nemo back," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

The Sharks remained tied with the Coyotes for first place in the Pacific Division and have two games in hand over Phoenix. They played on Thursday without Dominic Moore (undisclosed) and Douglas Murray (fractured throat).

The Predators had a two-game win streak snapped on Thursday with a shootout loss to the Blues, but are still 8-0-2 over their last 10 at home. Still, the defeat was costly as Nashville trails St. Louis by four points for the fourth spot in the Western Conference.

"Obviously we are still trying to catch them and by giving up a point, that's the disappointing thing," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. "We feel we could have been better a little bit, especially in the first period."

Roman Josi and Colin Wilson scored for the Predators, while Pekka Rinne stopped 22-of-24 shots.

The Sharks have points in four straight versus the Predators, winning three in a row before a 4-3 setback on Nov. 5. David Legwand had the winner for Nashville as his second goal of the game came 2:53 into the extra period.

San Jose has won three of its past four in Nashville.