San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tomas Hertl scored a power-play goal, Tommy Wingels added an empty-netter and Antti Niemi did the rest as the San Jose Sharks upended the slumping Nashville Predators 2-0 on Thursday.
Niemi turned away 35 shots for the Sharks, who have won four of their last five but still sit on the outside looking in at the playoff race.
Two of Niemi's five shutouts this season have come against the Predators, as he blanked them in a 29-save performance on Dec. 13.
Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for the Predators, who have dropped seven of their last eight games -- all in regulation -- to fall back into a tie with the Blues atop the Central Division.
Hertl, who had a goal taken away in the first period, broke a scoreless tie when he cleaned up a rebound on a shot from the point by Justin Braun with 3:19 remaining in the second period.
Niemi stopped 14 shots in the opening period, nine in the second and 12 in the third, and Wingels's insurance goal in the final minute sealed the win.
Niemi upped his career total to 32 shutouts ... Chris Tierney was credited with two assists ... Nashville went 0-for-2 on the power play ... The Sharks host the Blackhawks on Saturday ... The Predators continue a four-game road trip against the Kings on Saturday.