Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 5th
Game 2: Saturday, October 22nd
Game 3: Wednesday, November 2nd
Game 4: Saturday, March 11th

Sharks 2

(0-1-0, 0 pts)

Predators 3

(1-0-0, 2 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 5, 2005

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 02
NSH 1 0 23

Top Skaters

San Jose: P. Marleau - 1 G, 2 SOG, Even

Nashville: S. Hartnell - 1 G, 4 SOG, +1

and puck possession. The results were impressive at they won 24

San Jose at Nashville, 8:00 pm EDT

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Paul Kariya will bring some credibility to a franchise that has had just one winning season and one playoff appearance.

Kariya plays his first game for the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, when they take on the San Jose Sharks in the season opener for both teams.

A seven-time All-Star, Kariya joins Nashville after scoring a career-low 11 goals with Colorado in 2003-2004. He signed a two-year, $9 million contract and is the first big-name player the Predators have acquired.

After missing the playoffs in their first five seasons, the Predators were 38-29-11-4 for 91 points and a third-place finish in the Central Division before losing to Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

Goaltender Thomas Vokoun won 34 games in 2003-2004 and led the Czech Republic to victory in the World Championships earlier this year. He is considered one of the rising young goalies in the league and capable of taking Nashville to greater heights.

San Jose made very few changes to its roster after winning the Pacific Division crown with a 43-21-12-6 mark and 104 points before losing to Calgary in the Western Conference final in 2003-2004.

Coach Ron Wilson turned the Sharks around by focusing on speed and puck possession. The results were impressive as they won 24 more games than the previous season and jumped from last to first in the division.

Wilson is expecting bigger things from center and captain Patrick Marleau, who led the team with 28 goals - matching his career high - and 57 points in 2003-2004. He also scored eight times in the postseason.

The goaltending tandem of former Calder Trophy winner Evgeni Nabakov and Vesa Toskala is one of the best in the league. Nabakov has won at least 30 games with a goals-against average of 2.29 or better in three of the past four seasons.

The Sharks won all seven of their preseason contests.