NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Sharks won't truly know if they're ready for the playoffs until they actually begin. They know they won't panic if they ever fall behind by two goals.
Tomas Hertl scored twice in a stirring third-period comeback and Logan Couture scored the only goal in the shootout as the Sharks earned a 3-2 win Saturday night over the Nashville Predators in a playoff-type atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena.
Against what was probably the best opponent they have left on the schedule before the postseason begins, the Sharks found their rhythm just in time as they won their third in four games and kept alive their razor-thin chances for a Pacific Division title.
"It was a gritty effort," Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. "Early, they had a couple seeing eye goals and it would have been easy to chalk it up to one of those nights and we didn't. We hung in there and the third period was our best."
Joe Thornton assisted both of Hertl's goals to give him 60 assists for the season and James Reimer finished with 28 saves as the Sharks tied a franchise record for road wins in a season with 27.
That gives the Sharks the NHL lead in that category, and equals the total they had in 2007-08 when they finished 27-10-4 away from home. The Sharks have a chance to break the record Tuesday in Minneapolis in their last road game of the regular season.
"We've been good on the road all year," DeBoer said. "I think we're taking some pride in wanting to finish with the best road record in the league."
The Sharks are three points back of first-place Los Angeles, which lost to Dallas earlier Saturday, and two back of idle Anaheim. San Jose has three games left to play, as it closes the regular season with home games against Winnipeg and Arizona.
The Sharks felt they were applying enough pressure in the first two periods, but a combined 27 shot attempts were either blocked or missed the net entirely.
"Being down, it's always good to respond and come back," said defenseman Brent Burns, who finished with 25:50 of ice time, including a combined 10:55 in the third period and overtime. "It was a weird first two periods. Guys were working, but it's hard to create against that team."
Hertl put the Sharks on the board with a momentum-changing goal 2:19 into the third period.
Thornton stole the puck away from Colton Sissons inside the Predators' blue line and sent the puck to Joe Pavelski, who had his shot blocked by Roman Josi. Hertl picked up the loose puck and beat Predators goalie Carter Hutton for his 20th goal of the season and the 100th NHL point of his career.
"It was a big goal for us. We kept it moving after we had many chances," Hertl said. "It was a great play by (Thornton) and (Pavelski) and I just finished it. After that, everything started."
With 9:29 to go in the third, Hertl redirected a shot from the point by Brent Burns to tie the game.
The Sharks continued to press as they outshot the Predators 13-4 in the third period.
"Our battle level wasn't an issue, I just didn't think we were getting inside at the net enough," DeBoer said. "We were competing all over the playing a pretty good game. We just weren't inside enough, and we started to get inside at the net in the third."
Reimer's win was his fifth in his last six starts for the Sharks. He made one save in overtime then stopped shots by Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith in the shootout.
Shea Weber and Calle Jarnkrok both scored for Nashville, as the Sharks came back despite being down by two goals for the third time in five games.