Predators forward Craig Smith had some jump in his legs. He had some power in his shot, and he showed an ability to battle along the boards.

Saturday's 2-1 win at San Jose was the type of game the Predators had tried to coax out of the second-year forward since the start of the season. Smith also netted the game-winner on a backhand fake past Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi in the shootout.

"I just wanted to come in with some speed to back him off," Smith said. "As far as me pulling it to the backhand, it was pretty much a move that was set in stone, but it worked."

Through seven previous games, Smith had been pointless. He also had been benched, and he found himself searching for confidence.

He didn't notch a point Saturday, but he had five shots on goal, including a half breakaway opportunity midway through the second period. It was Smith's best scoring chance of the season.