Sharks host Preds, hope to stay perfect on homestand

( - The San Jose Sharks will attempt to remain unbeaten on their current homestand Saturday night when they take on the Nashville Predators.

The Sharks have opened up a five-game residency with two straight wins, including a 2-1 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Joe Thornton assisted on both goals, including Joe Pavelski's game-winner early in the third period.

The Wild tied the game 1:03 into the third frame, but Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead back when he one-timed a Thornton feed that found the forward in the left circle.

"(Thornton) found me and I put it right where I wanted," Pavelski said. "Those are the ones you have to bury."

Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, who have won six of their last seven games. Alex Stalock stopped 18-of-19 shots fired his way in the win, which came in his career-high third straight start.

No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi has been bothered by an undisclosed injury the past two games stemming from him getting hit by a puck in morning skate on Tuesday.

The Sharks picked up a victory despite missing top defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic because of an upper-body injury. San Jose also placed defenseman Matt Nieto (ankle) and forward Mike Brown (lower body) on injured reserve and recalled forward Chris Tierney and defenseman Matt Tennyson from the minors before the game.

The Predators eye a third victory in a row tonight having scored eight goals through the first two contests of a three-game road trip. They got plenty of offense on Thursday in a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

Mike Fisher notched a goal and an assist. His tally snapped Nashville's 0- for-28 slump on the power play and was his first of the campaign in his seventh game. He missed the first 21 contests due to an Achilles injury.

James Neal also tallied a goal and an assist, while Shea Weber and Filip Forsberg each had a pair of assists. Ryan Ellis, Olli Jokinen and Calle Jarnkrok tallied goals as well.

Pekka Rinne made 32 saves in Nashville's seventh victory in nine games.

"It was a hard-fought game and we just got timely goals," said Rinne.

The Predators have won three straight and seven of their past nine versus the Sharks. They are trying to win two straight games in San Jose for only the second time in franchise history, with the first occurrence coming on Jan. 13 and March 10, 2001.