Featured Video from Scott Reichel
San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights
NHL: Tuesday, April 16, 2019, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, 10:30 PM ET
The San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights will lock horns in game four of their Western Conference First Round series at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tuesday night. The Golden Knights lead the series 2-1 after two wins in a row and will try to get one step closer to the semifinals, while the Sharks desperately need to bounce back before they come back home for game five.
The Sharks need to improve defensively or will find themselves in dire straits
The San Jose Sharks (47-29-9) put on another poor defensive performance in a 6-3 defeat at the Vegas Golden Knights this past Sunday. They were trailing 1-0 after just 16 seconds into the 1st period, while the Sharks conceded a couple of goals in each period. San Jose allowed 40 shots, taking just 28 towards Marc-Andre Fleury. Martin Jones made 34 stops with a .850 save percentage, but his teammates allowed too many scoring opportunities. The Sharks limited their rivals below four goals only once in their last six outings on the road.
Center Logan Couture is leading the way for the Sharks in this series with a couple of goals and assists in 19 minutes on ice per game. Winger Evander Kane and center Joe Thornton both scored one goal along with two assists each, while defenseman Erik Karlsson made five dishes. Aaron Dell started between in the pipes in game two, but he couldn’t cope with Vegas’ offense. Martin Jones had a 36-19-5 record in the regular season with a 2.94 GAA and .896 save percentage. The Sharks were tied-2nd in the league in goals per game (3.52) and 21st in goals against (3.15), while their power play percentage was 6th-best in the league.
The Golden Knights offense is taking advantage of the Sharks’ poor displays
After a 5-3 victory in game two in San Jose, the Vegas Golden Knights (45-33-7) dominated the Sharks in game three at home. They had a 2-0 lead after just 12 minutes of play, allowing the Sharks to cut the deficit in the 1st period, but the Golden Knights decided the winner with three straight goals. Mark Stone had a big night with three goals and a couple of assists, while Paul Stastny added two goals and three assists. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 stops with a .893 save percentage. The Golden Knights allowed three or more goals in their previous five outings, but their offense was brilliant over the last two games against the Sharks.
Winger Mark Stone and center Paul Stastny are leading the way for the Golden Knights in this series with eight points each. Stone scored six goals, while Stastny made six assists. Winger Max Pacioretty scored two goals along with four assists, while defenseman Shea Theodore made four dishes. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury started in all three games against San Jose, and he had a 35-21-5 record in the regular season with a 2.51 GAA and .913 save percentage. The Golden Knights were tied-13th in the league in goals per game (3.00) and 10th in goals against (2.78), while their penalty kill percentage was 14th-best in the league (80.8).
Vegas Golden Knights:
- 6-2 in the last eight home meetings with San Jose
- 8-3 in 11 home games in the postseason
- 8-3 in the last 11 outings at home
San Jose Sharks:
- 3-6 in the last nine meetings with Vegas
- 1-4 in the last five games on the road
- 1-4 in the last five outings in the postseason
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Sharks can score, but their defensive job is terrible, and I don’t see them winning the series if they continue to play at the same level. They allow too many shots and will suffer the third straight loss if they don’t improve defensively. However, the Sharks are struggling defensively all season long, while the Golden Knights have been playing very well at home lately, so I’m backing the hosts to win by two or more goals.
Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+185)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 7-2 in Vegas’ previous nine games at home, and it is 6-4-1 in San Jose’s last 11 outings on the road. On the other hand, the last five head-to-head duels were finished in the over with seven or more goals in the total. Considering the teams’ current form and their performance in this series, I’m backing the over.
Prediction: Over 6.5 goals (+105)
Full-Game Prop Bet
We saw all three different outcomes at the end of the 1st period in the first three games of the series, and the Golden Knights won the 1st period 2-1 in game three. Also, the Golden Knights won the 1st period in all four head-to-head duels in the regular season without conceding a single goal, so I’m taking the hosts to extend their streak tonight.
Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights -0.5 (+150)
Half-Time Side Pick
While the opening game of the series saw just one goal in the 1st period, the previous two games were real firecrackers. Game two saw a whopping six goals in the 1st period, while game three had three 1st-period goals. Both teams are trying to be aggressive from the start, and I expect to see more of the same tonight. Also, the Sharks’ last three games of the regular season had exactly three 1st-period goals, so I’m backing the over.
Prediction: Over 1.5 goals (-150)