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|The Nashville Predators are having their best season yet – and are nowhere near satisfied. Ryan Ellis scored the go-ahead goal with 9:54 left and the Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Thursday night to set a franchise record with 111 points this season.
”This is just part of where we’re trying to get to Johnny Townsend Jersey ,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. ”I think they understand that the more we win, the better chance we have to secure home ice. Playing in front of our fans and in our building is something we talked about. We want to get that done. We knew that was something that could be done tonight. The guys played hard for us.”
With their 50th victory, the NHL-leading Predators padded their lead to four points over Boston in the chase for their first Presidents’ Trophy. Nashville topped the mark of 110 points set in 2006-07 on a night where the franchise also notched its 100th consecutive sellout, a streak that started April 7, 2016, against the Sharks.
They also lead Winnipeg by seven points with five games remaining apiece in the Central looking for their first division title.
Forward Filip Forsberg said the defending Western Conference champs started the season with the goal of making the playoffs.
”Once we nailed that off, now we want to finish as high as we can,” said Forsberg, who had three assists. ”Figure that the best season in Preds’ history is a good way to do it.”
Craig Smith and Viktor Arvidsson each had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Turris had a goal. Nick Bonino added an empty-net goal with 17 seconds left for Nashville, which won the season series against San Jose 2-1.
Juuse Saros made 39 saves for the win, including stopping Logan Couture on a penalty shot with 1:53 left. The goalie also helped the Predators kill a penalty with 3:10 remaining with a flurry of stops.
”Oh my goodness Karl Joseph Jersey ,” center Ryan Johansen said of the Predators’ backup goalie. ”He was phenomenal. I was pretty impressed being his teammate and watching him play. He was probably the reason we ended up winning that game. He just deserves, if not all, most of the credit.”
Couture, Brenden Dillon and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Sharks. San Jose snapped its nine-game point streak.
”It’s a tough place to win,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ”We played hard and had some chances to get some points here tonight, just didn’t happen.”
Turris opened the scoring at 5:26 when he pounced on a rebound of P.K. Subban’s shot from the point, beating Martin Jones with a snap shot from the left circle. Ryan Johansen stole the puck near the blue line, and he and Forsberg had nobody in front of them but Jones. Arvidsson scored off the pass from Forsberg for his team-leading 29th goal this season midway through the first.
Couture took advantage of Evander Kane in front of Saros to score on a wrist shot at 6:55 that went over the goalie’s right shoulder. Dillon tied it at 2 at 12:05 with a shot from the point over Saros’ right shoulder off the crossbar.
Smith put the Predators up 3-2 at 10:38 of the second with a wrister from in front that slipped under Jones’ left pad.
For all the Predators’ success, their biggest issue has been the power play. They came in 3 of 44 since March 1 and went 0 of 5 against the Sharks, which included 41 seconds of a 5-on-3. Rookie Eeli Tolvanen, who signed his three-year entry-level contract earlier Thursday , could help when he makes his highly anticipated debut Frank Zombo Jersey , likely Saturday night.
Boedker beat Saros with a wrist shot at 5:54 of the third.
Ellis put the Predators ahead to stay with a slap shot after the puck bounced out to him off a shot attempt by Forsberg.
NOTES: The Predators are 66-21-13 during their current sellout streak. … Nashville also matched its top mark for wins in a single month with 11. The Predators won 11 in March 2010 and January 2012.
Sharks: Visit the Golden Knights on Saturday night.
Predators: Host Buffalo on Saturday night.
Russ Brandon abruptly resigned his dual role as president of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres after being confronted by the teams’ owners regarding an alleged inappropriate relationship with a female employee, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an internal matter, and owners Terry and Kim Pegula did not provide a reason for accepting Brandon’s resignation in a statement they released Tuesday.
The relationship in question first became apparent to a number of team employees during the Sabres’ visit to New York for a game against the Rangers on Jan. 18, the people said. The trip included the team hosting a fan event at a bar the day before the game.
Kim Pegula will take over Brandon’s roles overseeing the Bills, Sabres and Pegula Sports Entertainment, the company which controls the owners’ numerous holdings.
In a text to The AP, Brandon said he has contemplated stepping down from the job for some time, and felt the timing was right after the conclusion of the NFL draft.
”My goal when the Pegulas purchased the franchise was to reach 20 years with the Bills, in which I achieved this past November,” Brandon wrote.
”As grateful as I am for the amazing experience and the incredible people I’ve had the privilege to work with the past two decades, I am just as anxious for the professional opportunities that lie ahead,” he added.
Brandon did not respond to follow-up questions regarding his relationship.
Brandon’s departure comes after the Bills made a big splash in the first round of the draft by trading up to select both Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh pick Justin Bethel Jersey , and Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds with the 16th pick. The new additions join a Bills team that went 9-7 and ended a 17-year playoff drought last season.
On Saturday, the last-place Sabres earned a boost by winning the NHL draft lottery and the right to the No. 1 pick for the third time in franchise history.
”We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the strong leadership team we have built within each of these entities over the last several years,” the statement from the Pegulas read.
”We are excited about the direction of our teams, especially after this past weekend’s NFL draft and NHL lottery results. Our focus remains on building championship teams on and off the field for our fans and community.”
Brandon most recently served as the Bills’ managing partner, was the Sabres alternate on the NHL’s board of governors and a member of the NFL’s business ventures committee.
The timing of Brandon’s exit comes at a time he was supposed to oversee the Bills’ next big venture in determining their future home. Brandon was expected to lead the team’s stadium search committee in deciding whether the Bills should continue playing at their current home or develop a new facility in downtown Buffalo.
He served in various roles with the Bills, involving both marketing and football decisions during a two-year stint as general manager from 2008-09.
He also took the lead in negotiating the Bills’ most recent lease five years ago, which played a critical role in securing the franchise’s long-term future in Buffalo especially following Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson’s death in March 2014.
The lease included a strict non-relocation clause that included a $400 million penalty the team would be forced to pay if it considered moving before 2020.
Brandon also oversaw the Bills’ eventual sale to the Pegulas, who completed their $1.4 billion purchase of the franchise in October 2014.
The Pegulas retained Brandon and elevated him to the role of managing partner. The Pegulas thought so highly of Brandon, the Sabres were added to his responsibilities after the team reached a mutual agreement to part ways with Ted Black in July 2015.
Brandon’s resignation continues a large turnover of Bills executives who served under Wilson. Bruce Popko is the senior holdover and now becomes the top executive as chief operating officer of Buffalo-based Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which oversees the Pegulas’ numerous holdings.
Brandon grew up in nearby Syracuse, New York, and began making his mark in Buffalo shortly after being hired by the Bills in 1997 to serve as the team’s business development and marketing director.
He began by spearheading a campaign to transform them into a regional team by expanding the franchise’s fan base to offset Buffalo’s dropping population base.
That process began in 2000 Marshall Newhouse Jersey , when the team shifted training camp to Brandon’s alma mater, St. John Fisher College in suburban Rochester, to capitalize on the community’s corporate and larger population base.
Later, the Bills boosted their presence across southern Ontario by negotiating a deal to begin playing annual regular-season games in Toronto starting in 2008. The ”Bills In Toronto” series lasted through 2013 before the deal was placed on hold the following year and then terminated by the Pegulas.
Toronto-based media giant, Rogers Communications, paid the Bills $78 million to essentially lease eight games (five regular season and three preseason) during the initial five-year agreement. The price was almost double what the Bills were projected to generate if those games were played at their home facility.
The series also spurred a large bump in season-ticket purchases from across the border. By 2015, the Bills estimated southern Ontario fans accounted for about 18 percent of their season-ticke Authentic Womens Cody Latimer Jersey
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