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Washington Capitals vs. San Jose Sharks
NHL: Tuesday, December 3, SAP Center, San Jose, California, 10:30 PM ET
The Washington Capitals start their three-game journey on the west coast with the clash against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. The Caps look for their fourth straight win after they routed the Red Wings 5-2 in Detroit this past Saturday. On the other side, the Sharks have won five of their last six games overall and are coming off a 4-2 victory at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
We will see a great game, as two in-form interconference foes take on each other for the first time this season. They split the last season’s series, and each team won on the road. The Capitals thrashed off the Sharks 5-1 to record their second straight win at SAP Center in San Jose.
The Capitals had no problems to beat the hapless Red WingsDespite a 1-0 deficit after the first period, the Capitals had an easy job in Detroit on Saturday night. T.J. Oshie scored his 11th goal of the season to tie the game early in the second period, and from that point, it was a one-way street. Alex Ovechkin had a big night, netting three times and making an assist to Tm Wilson for his 10th goal of the season. Ilya Samsonov had a good game and stopped 25 shots with a .926 save percentage.
After three straight pointless outings, defenseman John Carlson had an assist against the Red Wings. He’s the Capitals’ best player this season with eight goals, 29 assists, and +13 rating. Interestingly, Alex Ovechkin has -3 rating even though he’s scored 20 goals along with 11 assists. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov made three dishes in Detroit, and he’s leading the Caps with 17 assists. Washington is 4th in the league in goals per game (3.61) and 5th in power-play conversion (25.3%).
Braden Holtby guarded the cage in six of the Capitals’ last seven games overall. He’s 13-2-4 this season and has a 2.86 GAA and a .909 save percentage. Ilya Samsonov has a 6-2-1 record with a 2.58 GAA and a .914 save percentage. The Caps are tied-11th in the league in goals against (2.89) and 12th in penalty killing (83.0%).
The Sharks proved their excellent form, rallying past Arizona 4-2The Sharks were two goals behind after just 2:12 into the first period in Arizona on Saturday. They cut the deficit nine minutes later and overcame the Coyotes by the end of the second period. Logan Couture scored a couple of goals for the Sharks, while Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier netted once each. Martin Jones had another good game, making 21 saves for his fourth straight victory. It was the Sharks’ fourth win in a row away from home.
Martin Jones got off to a slow start this season, but he’s been one of the Sharks’ best players lately. San Jose has won 11 of its last 13 games mostly thanks to Jones’ terrific displays. Martin is 12-8-1 this season and has a 3.03 GAA and a .896 save percentage, but he was 10-2-0 in November with a 2.62 GAA and a .902 save percentage. The Sharks are 24th in the league in goals against (3.25) and 1st in penalty killing (91.0). I think Jones should guard the cage in a tough matchup with the Capitals.
Center Logan Couture is leading the way for the Sharks with eight goals and 20 assists. He’s one of the rare Sharks’ players with a positive +/- rating (+2). Winger Evander Kane (G12, A10) bounced back from two pointless games, making an assist against Arizona, while center Tomas Hertl (G10, A13) had a couple of dishes in Arizona. The Sharks are tied-18th in the league in goals per game (2.86) and 20th in power-play conversion (17.2%).
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are: Washington:
- 5-12 in the last 17 games against San Jose
- 4-11 in the last 15 road contests against San Jose
- 11-2 in the last 13 games overall
- 6-1 in the last seven home games against the Metropolitan Division
- 15-5 in the last 20 home games played in December
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Sharks have improved over the last few weeks a lot, especially on the defensive end. Their confidence is sky-high, and I really like the Sharks spot here, as they are coming off a convincing win in Arizona. On the other side, the Capitals are enjoying an excellent season, but their defense is vulnerable which will be a problem against the awaken Sharks. This clash will be a tight one and it could easily go either way. Still, I will rely on the Sharks’ defense, hoping they will continue to rise. Also, the Capitals have allowed three or more goals in seven of their last ten outings on the road.
Prediction: San Jose Sharks (+100)
Full-Game Total Pick
When I said I will rely on the Sharks’ defense to be a game-changer, I didn’t think they will completely shut down the Capitals. Washington is one of the most efficient teams in the league and has some prolific players upfront. The over has hit in 15 of the Caps’ previous 20 games overall including their previous three outings. Considering their current form, I think both Washington and San Jose will score a few goals. The line at 6.5 goals is always a tricky one, but I have to take the over. If you’re satisfied with lower wages, go with the alternative line at 5.5 goals.
Prediction: Over 6.5 goals (+100)