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Sharks On The Brink in Game 5 vs Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights have the look of a Stanley Cup finalist and if they keep making mincemeat of the San Jose goaltenders, this first-round series could be over tonight. The Sharks have been outscored 18-11 through four games and got shut out in Game 4 to put them in must-win territory to keep their season alive. The Knights won Game 2 in San Jose and have won seven of the last 10 games in this matchup.

The Sharks opened as -120 favorites with a total of 6.

Knights vs Sharks Game Center

STANDOUT STATS

  • The Knights’ top line of Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny was again instrumental in pacing the offense in Game 4 as they had a hand in three of the five Vegas goals with Pacioretty notching two markers and two assists. Through four playoff games, the top line has combined for 28 points and 12 goals.
  • The Sharks were one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL coming into the postseason by averaging 3.52 goals per game (tied for second) but they also gave up a ton of goals and were ranked 21st in goals allowed per game (3.1). They’ve had 20 power-play opportunities in four games of the series but have only scored three times, which has them 13th out of 16 playoff teams.
  • The Sharks’ goaltending situation is dire and Martin Jones may need to seek a different line of employment. He got pulled after the first period after allowing two goals on seven shots and has now allowed 13 goals on 80 shots. For the series, he has a save percentage of .838 (.896 during the regular season) and this isn’t anything new for Jones. He let in a ton of goals when the Sharks faced the Knights in the second round in last year’s playoffs. Sharks backup Aaron Dell hasn’t fared much better by allowing five goals on 36 shots in mop-up duty during the series.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury has been fairly decent in the playoffs but he was excellent in Game 5, stopping all 28 shots to come his way. During the regular season, Fleury faced the Sharks twice and only gave up three goals on 60 shots. Through four games of the series, he’s allowed 10 goals and owns a .920 save percentage.
  • Although the OVER fell short in Game 4, that was through no fault of the Knights. They did their part by putting up five goals but the Sharks were shut out to reward UNDER bettors. Through four games in this series, there have been 29 goals scored and the average combined score in those contests is 7.25. When these teams faced each other last year in the second round, four of the six games went OVER and the average combined score from that six-game series was 6 goals.

My Best Bet for Knights vs Sharks

OVER 6 Goals

I expect the Sharks offense to wake up again tonight but I also think the Knights will continue their torrid scoring pace, so the OVER feels like a no-brainer.

The Knights offense is so deep now with the likes of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault on the second line. Vegas just comes at opposing teams in waves, which makes them incredibly hard to stop. I’m also very down on the Sharks’ goaltending situation as I don’t think they can keep the Knights below three goals.

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