The Predators capped a perfect 3-0 homestand Saturday night, exploding for the season's best offensive performance in a 7-2 romp of the reeling Sharks.
It was a statement win over a team that entered the night tied for the Pacific Division lead. It was also payback against a Sharks team that eliminated the Predators in seven games during the Western Conference semifinals last year.
"There's some bad blood between these two teams," Predators center Colton Sissons said. "It was great to come out and jump on them."
The Predators opened the scoring just 4:14 into the game when Colin Wilson found Colton Simmons in front of the net for a goal. When Cody McLeod punched in a Roman Josi shot that trickled just shy of the goal line, the Predators held their first two goal lead after the opening period since December 20th.
And they kept the pedal to the metal.
Goals from James Neal and P.K. Subban extended the Preds lead to 4-2 after two periods, and they tacked on three more in the third for a season-high seven goal performance.
Sissons finished with two goals, giving him three in the two games he's been inserted into then lineup for injured captain Mike Fisher.
Neal also added another tally in the third period, giving him 23 goals for the season, and Viktor Arviddson's short-handed goal capped the scoring.
The victory coupled with Calgary's overtime win at St. Louis moves the Predators one point ahead of the Blues for third place in the Central Division. Securing that spot would be nice because it would likely mean a first round matchup with the fading Wild, instead of an opening round matchup with either the first place Blackhawks or whoever winds up winning the Pacific Division.
"We needed all of (these points)," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said of his team's 3-0 homestand. "If you look at the area we are at in the standings, nobody's losing. We needed all these just to keep pace."
A sixth win in seven games, helped the Preds not just keep pace but take a step forward Saturday night. And they did so with an offensive explosion that sent a message to one of the Western Conference's top teams.
The Predators are ready for a postseason run.