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Thursday night is about chasing history for the Nashville Predators.

When it hosts the San Jose Sharks in Bridgestone Arena Authentic
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 , Nashville can break the franchise’s
single-season record for points with a victory. Currently sitting at 109 points
with a 49-16-11 mark, the Predators can also move a step closer to home-ice
advantage for the Stanley Cup playoffs by picking up two points.

Probably of more importance to the players and coach Peter Laviolette,
however, is maintaining the level of play they displayed Tuesday night in a 2-1
shootout win over Minnesota. After allowing 13 goals in the previous three games
— all losses — Nashville limited the Wild to 23 shots and controlled most of the
game.

“It was a good step in the right direction to getting back to the way we need
to play as we approach the playoffs,” Laviolette said. “I thought our guys just
did a really good job of locking down tonight Authentic
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 , especially early on in the game.”

Three points ahead of Tampa Bay for the NHL’s best record, the Predators also
lead surging Winnipeg by five points in the Central Division with six games
remaining. While they reached the Stanley Cup Finals last spring, the franchise
has never captured a division title in its 20-year history.

Laviolette and his team identified their last 12 division games as being
particularly critical to achieving a division title. The victory over Minnesota
enabled Nashville to go 9-2-1 in that stretch, no small feat since there’s a
decent chance the division will send five teams to the Western Conference
playoffs.

“We always mark these games against Central Division opponents,” captain
Roman Josi said. “They’re always big games in our division. It’s such a tough
division and there are so many good teams Francisco
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 , so we always make sure we’re ready for those
games. It’s obviously good for us to have that record.”

While the Predators are running down history, San Jose (44-23-10) is still
trying to catch Vegas in the Pacific Division. Tuesday night’s 3-2 overtime loss
in St. Louis gave the Sharks a point, but a second one would have helped that
long-shot bid.

Despite the outcome, San Jose coach Peter DeBoer wasn’t entirely upset with
his team’s performance.

“It was our fifth game in eight days,” he said. “I thought we had a lot of
factors going Cheap
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 , but I thought the guys dug deep and got a
valuable point.”

The Sharks trail the Golden Knights by five points with five games left, and
must try for a win in perhaps their biggest jinx building in the league. Dating
to the strike-shortened 2013 season, they have won just once in their last 11
visits to Bridgestone.

That includes a 7-1 blowout on Feb. 22, when Nashville scored four
third-period goals and presented Pekka Rinne witimageh his 300th career win in goal.
San Jose gave up a whopping 46 shots on net that night, and goalie Martin Jones
was pulled after allowing six markers.

Jones (29-18-6 Drew
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 , 2.45 goals-against average, .918 save percentage)
should be back in net Thursday night after Aaron Dell played in St. Louis. Rinne
(41-11-4, 2.25, .929) figures to get the call for the Predators.

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