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Predators Finally Defending Home Ice

Brent Burns San Jose Sharks Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

After dropping games three and four versus the Anaheim Ducks on home ice, the Nashville Predators are finally putting together strong performances at home. A win in Game 3 versus the San Jose Sharks injected a little hope into their series aspirations and a win in Game 4 at Bridgestone Arena Thursday would make them a real contender for another series upset.

Shark Bites
  • The Predators are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games after consecutive home wins.
  • The Sharks are 3-1 SU in their last four games with one day off between games.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Sharks’ last four games on Thursday.

Online shop Bovada is currently offering the Preds at -115 in moneyline markets while the Sharks currently come in at -105. As far as the total is concerned, both sides of the 5-goal number are -110.

The Preds have won their last two games on home ice and will hope to extend that to three Thursday. The Sharks, who were the NHL’s best road team during the regular season (28-10-3), have really struggled in their travels to Tennessee, however. Entering Thursday’s crucial Game 4, the Sharks have gone just 1-7 SU in their last eight trips to Nashville.

Entering the series with the Preds, the Sharks had been dominant on the road. They took all three road games against the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round and have actually gone 6-1 in their last seven road games overall.

Nashville really turned on the special teams in Game 3, going two for five on the power play and killing each of San Jose’s four chances with the man advantage. Prior to that, the Preds were just two for 32 on the PP and had given up a whopping six goals on 18 PKs.

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Blues Making Sweet Music in Playoffs

Dallas Stars St. Louis Blues NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

The St. Louis Blues can take a commanding 3-1 series lead with a win over the Dallas Stars on home ice Thursday night. If Game 3 was any indication, however, this series is already over.

Shark Bites
  • The Stars are 2-8 SU in their last 10 games against the Blues.
  • The Blues are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games as favorites.
  • The Blues are 5-1 SU in their last six games after a loss.

The Blues torched Stars netminder Antti Niemi for three goals on 12 shots before making way for Kari Lehtonen, who also allowed three goals in the Blues’ 6-1 victory. Stars goalies have allowed 10 goals over the last two games with the OVER cashing in each instance after the two teams combined for just three goals in Game 1.

Despite allowing the opening goal in each game, Blues goaltender Brian Elliott has done an admirable job of remaining calm and giving his team the opportunity to fight back and, in the case for the last two games, win. Colton Sceviour scored 4:44 into Game 3, but Elliott shut the door after that – as he’s done all playoffs. He stopped the next 25 shots as the Blues skated to the easy 6-1 win.

The Blues are the third-highest scoring team in the playoffs with three goals per game and have been a good OVER wager in recent games with the O/U count now 5-2 in their last seven games.

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Penguins Almost Perfect After a Day Off

Penguins Capitals NHL

Game 4 of the second round series between the Penguins and Capitals goes tonight in Pittsburgh and the Pens will look a grab a 3-1 series stranglehold. Coming off Monday’s 3-2 victory, Pittsburgh is now on a run that’s seen them go 14-1 in their last 15 games with a day off between games. The day off between games trend hasn’t been as kind to the Caps, as they’re 1-4 in their last five in that situation.

The Pens will be without a key part of their lineup as defenseman Kris Letang has been suspended for a late hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3. Letang’s absence will leave a major void in Pittsburgh’s lineup. The defenseman has averaged over 30 minutes of ice time during the series and the Pens were 2-8-1 without Letang in the lineup during the regular season.

Pittsburgh entered the day as slim +105 favorites to win the game. They’ve been on a nice roll as home favorites, posting a 15-5 record in their last 20 games in that situation, including wins in six of their last seven as home faves.

The Capitals tend to be a good bounce back team as they’re 23-7 in their last 30 games after a loss. A loss tonight would be three straight for them — something that’s happened just once since the calendar flipped to 2016.

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Sharks Have Floundered In Nashville

The San Jose Sharks may have cruised to victories in their first two games against the Nashville Predators, but The Music City has not been kind to the Sharks. San Jose is 1-6 in their past seven games at Bridgestone Arena while being outscored 24-12 in that span.

The Preds showed signs of life in Game 2 after an epic collapse in Game 1 with Nashville outshooting and outhitting San Jose by wide margins. However, if the Predators want to climb back in this series they will need to work on a powerplay unit that is just 2-for-31 in the playoffs.

The Sharks have won six consecutive games on the road, including going a perfect 3-0 in their first round series against the LA Kings. San Jose’s lone victory in Nashville in their past seven contests between the two came during that road winning streak with the Shark beating the Preds in a shootout on April 2.

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Blues Have Been Beating Up on the Stars

After losing Game 2 in OT to St. Louis, Dallas fans might be starting to think that it’s not in the stars for their team to win the series as they’re just 2-7 in their last nine games against the Blues. Even worse, the series is moving to St. Louis where the Blues beat Dallas three times this season, outscoring them 8-3.

The Blues opened the day as -135 favorites — a spot they’ve been fairly reliable in. In their last 12 games as favorites, they’ve gone 8-4. Dallas hasn’t been underdogs often this season, but they’ve responded well to the role. They’ve recently gone 4-1 in their last five games as dogs, and 7-3 in their last 10.

With the total for the game set at five goals, bettors will be interested to know that the total has gone OVER in eight of the Stars’ last nine games after a loss, however, in their last ten games between these teams, the total has gone UNDER seven times.

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Islanders Owning Lightning in New York

After splitting two games in Tampa Bay, the Islanders and their backers will be happy to see the series shift to the Barclays Center as the Islanders have won eight of the last nine times they’ve hosted the Lightning. They last met in New York on April 4, where the Islanders easily won 5-2.

Another positive trend developing for the Isles is their ability to bounce back after a loss, as they’re 3-0 in their last three games following a loss. The Lightning, meanwhile, haven’t exactly been great at stringing wins together, as they’re 2-6 in their last eight games after a win.

Working in Tampa’s favor is how well they’re played with a few days of rest between games. They’re currently on a run that’s seen them go 9-3 in their last 12 games with two days off between games, while the Islanders have struggled in that spot, going 3-7 in their last 10 games with two days off between games.

The total for the game is set at 5 goals — a mark they’ve topped in five of their last eight games against each other.

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Penguins Crushing Caps as Favorites

Penguins vs Capitals

After the Penguins and Capitals split the first two games of their second round series in D.C., the series will shift to the Steel City as Pittsburgh will look to build on a home ice advantage trend that’s seen them win five of their last six and 15 of their last 20.

The Penguins opened as -139 favorites for the game, and they’ve been dominating the Caps in this spot. As faves against Washington, they’ve gone 9-2 in their last 11. As underdogs, it’s been an overall struggle for the Caps as they’ve gone just 4-9 in their last 13 games as dogs.

Washington has shown a consistent ability to bounce back this season, posting a 23-6 record in games after a loss. They did, however, lose two straight games in their first round series against the Flyers. Looking at the past seven weeks, the Penguins have lost two games in a three game span just once.

Caps goalie Braden Holtby has been kept busy by a Penguins offense that’s put 80 shots on net in the first two games of the series. The Pens have been unable to convert on any of those attempts while on the man advantage though, as they’ve gone 0 for 7 on the power play so far.

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UNDER Hot Between Sharks-Predators

It was quite clear who had tired legs and who didn’t in the first game of San Jose’s second-round series with Nashville, but the Preds have an opportunity to knot the series at one game apiece with a win in the Golden State on Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The Sharks are 6-1 in their last 7 overall.
  • The UNDER is 5-2-3 in the Predators last 10 overall.
  • The UNDER is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in San Jose.

San Jose erupted for five goals in the last 20 minutes of play for a 5-2 victory in that game. Nashville’s lack of success continues to be an issue for the club, as the Preds went 1-of-26 in the first-round against Anaheim.

Sharks forward Joel Ward has a history of coming up big in the clutch, and he collected an assist on the go-ahead goal on Friday. Ward scored seven goals in 12 playoff games for the Predators in 2010-11.

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Can the Penguins Slow Down the Capitals?

The Washington Capitals have been labeled as playoff chokers for quite some time, but they’re looking like the real deal this time around. Thanks to a hat trick by T.J. OSHA, the Capitals took Game 1 of the second-round series in overtime by a score of 4-3.

Shark Bites
  • The OVER is 3-0-2 in the last 5 meetings.
  • The Penguins are 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games.
  • The Penguins are 10-4 in their last 14 Saturday games.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, who turned aside 89 shots in three contests to eliminate the New York Rangers in the opening round, looked very beatable in the setback. Murray’s four goals surrendered were the same amount he let in against the Rangers.

Lack of success on the power play was a big story for Washington. The Capitals scored eight times with the man advantage in their first round series, but went 0 for 4 in Game 1. Capitals netminder Braden Holtby’s workload received a major uptick, as the Vezina Trophy finalist saw 45 shots come his way on Thursday after facing just 36 in the final two matchups with the Flyers.

Stringing together wins has not been an easy task for Washington lately. The Caps are 1-6 SU in their last seven after collecting consecutive victories.

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Dallas Continuing to Cash at Home

The Dallas Stars squeezed out a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series and will be looking to take a 2-0 stranglehold with a win Sunday at American Airlines Center. Dallas is 8-0-1 in their last nine home games.

Shark Bites
  • The Blues are 0-7 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the Stars last 5 home games.
  • The Blues are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

The Blues, however, have won four of the last five meetings with Dallas in the regular season, with three of those games going to overtime. St. Louis finished two points behind Dalls for the best record in the Western Conference.

St. Louis struggled to match the speed of Dallas in the series opener. These teams clearly do not like each other, as Stars captain Jamie Benn said “They hate us, and we hate them” prior to Game 1.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has stopped 31-of-32 shots to improve to 7-1-0 in his last eight stars.

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