Sharks thrash Predators in game 7 to advance

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The San Jose Sharks made it look easy, getting goals from five different players to book their spot in the NHL semi-finals with a 5-0 rout of the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

San Jose will be seeking their first Western Conference title and making their fourth appearance in the final four round and first since going back-to-back in 2010 and 2011.

The game seven clincher, at San Jose's sold-out SAP Center arena, meant the home team won all seven games in the series.

San Jose goalie Martin Jones stopped all 20 Nashville shots for his first career postseason shutout.

With their eighth win in 12 games this spring, the Sharks advance to meet the St. Louis Blues in a best-of-seven series that will send the winner on to the Stanley Cup finals.

Game one will be Sunday in St. Louis.

The Blues and Sharks have met four times in the postseason, only in the first round, and each team has won twice. San Jose won two of three regular-season meetings this year.

The Sharks scored twice in a dominating first period.

Joe Pavelski potted his ninth goal of the playoff season with a one-timer from 10 feet out on the power play after taking a pass from Patrick Marleau.

Joel Ward made it 2-0 when he stole the puck from Nashville defenceman Roman Josi at the visitors' blue line. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was unable to stop a half-speed shot at 16:51.

Logan Couture scored his seventh goal of the playoffs and fifth of the series just 36 seconds into the second period to give the hosts a commanding 3-0 lead.