San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Antti Niemi made 29 saves for his second shutout of the season and the red-hot San Jose Sharks beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 on Saturday night.
Niemi had 18 of his 29 saves in the third period to pick up his 29th career shutout and first since the season-opener against Los Angeles on Oct. 8.
Tomas Hertl's goal 5:01 into the game stood up as the winner and Joe Thornton added an empty-netter late as the Sharks improved to 7-1 in their last eight games.
Pekka Rinne played well in net, stopping 32 of 33 shots, but took the loss as the Predators finished a 2-1 road trip.
The Predators went 3-0 against the Sharks last season, beating Niemi each time. But they couldn't get anything past the Finn in this one.
Niemi had seven saves in the first period and San Jose peppered Rinne with 18 shots, only getting one past the Predators goaltender.
Thornton started the play when he sent a backhand toward the right circle from the boards. Joe Pavelski turned and fired it at the net and Hertl cleaned up for his seventh goal of the season.
"The whole first period we had a game plan and we all bought into it," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "It wasn't just 15 guys; it was all 20 who executed it. The whole night we stuck to it. It was a good team win."
Rinne made 11 saves in the second period while Niemi only faced four shots.
The Predators were without captain Shea Weber for a time in the second period after the defenseman was cut under his arm when he came down on the left skate of Sharks forward Tye McGinn at the end of a check in the second period.
Weber was bleeding under his arm as he left the ice but returned later in the period.
The Predators host Boston on Tuesday before going back on the road for three games ... The Sharks are off until Thursday, when they host Edmonton to continue a five-game homestand.