Featured Video from Scott Reichel
San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
NHL: Friday, May 17, 2019, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 8:00 PM ET
The St. Louis Blues will welcome the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Friday night. After splitting the first two games in San Jose, the Sharks won the previous duel at Enterprise Center 5-4 in overtime to take the lead in the series so tonight’s clash will have a lot on the table for the hosts who lost two of their three encounters with the Sharks during the regular season.
The Sharks are looking for another upset to take a commanding lead in the series
After a 4-2 defeat in Game 2, the San Jose Sharks (56-33-10) bounced back to win a wild Game 3 in St. Louis and retrieve the home-court advantage in the series. The Sharks won the 1st period 2-0 and had a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd period, but they allowed the Blues to score three times until the end of the 2nd period. However, Logan Couture tied the game with just 1:01 left on the clock in the 3rd period, while Erik Karlsson scored his second goal of the game 5:23 into overtime to get the Sharks a victory. San Jose took 32 shots towards the Blues’ goalie, while Martin Jones had 28 stops with a .875 save percentage.
Center Logan Couture is a key player for the Sharks in the postseason, scoring 14 goals in 17 games along with six assists, and he’s leading the playoffs with 20 points. Couture had 27 goals and 43 assists in 81 outings in the regular season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson scored a couple of goals along with 13 assists, while another defenseman Brent Burns added five goals and ten dishes. Burns was excellent during the regular season with 16 goals and 67 assists in 82 apps. Martin Jones started between the pipes in all 17 playoff contests, recording a 2.89 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Jones had a 36-19-5 record in the regular season with a 2.94 GAA and a .896 save percentage.
The Blues were furious after blown call in overtime
The St. Louis Blues (54-33-11) fought back after a 3-1 deficit in the 2nd period of Game 3 to take a 4-3 lead, as Vladimir Tarasenko scored once, while David Perron bagged a couple of goals. Still, the Blues allowed the Sharks to force overtime, and the officials missed a hand pass that led to San Jose’s game-winner and a 5-4 victory. The Blues were furious and didn’t want to leave the ice, but the video review process doesn’t include hand passes so they had to settle down with the officials’ decision. “It is hard to move on, for sure. It’s not easy to do. It’s a test. That’s how you look at it,” the Blues coach Craig Berube said. “It’s a tough play, tough call, but it’s just a test, and we’ve been tested over and over throughout the season and the playoffs, and I think we’re pretty good at bouncing back. That’s the way I look at it. It’s a mental thing more than anything.”
Winger Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo are leading the way for the Blues’ in the postseason. Schwartz scored nine goals along with four assists, while Pietrangelo added two goals and ten dishes. Center Ryan O’Reilly bagged three goals along with eight assists, while winger David Perron has five goals and five assists. O’Reilly will have to step up in this series after being the key player for the Blues in the regular season with 28 goals and 49 assists. Jordan Binnington started between the pipes in all 16 playoff games, tallying a 2.67 GAA and a .904 save percentage. Binnington had a tremendous regular season with a 24-5-1 record, a 1.89 GAA, and a .927 save percentage.
St. Louis Blues:
- 8-4 in the last 12 meetings with the Pacific Division
- 17-7 in the last 24 games at home
San Jose Sharks:
- 3-12 in the last 15 outings in May
- 4-7 in the last 11 games on the road
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Blues will be under huge pressure tonight, as the eventual loss will set them at a pretty tight spot. However, the Blues proved many times this season they can cope with pressure, and after an unfortunate loss in Game 3, I think they will bounce back on this one and tie the series ahead of the next clash in San Jose. The officials’ mistakes often make teams to bring their best into the next game, so I’m backing the Blues to win.
Prediction: St. Louis Blues (-133)
Full-Game Total Pick
The over has hit in the previous three games of the series after six straight head-to-head duels between San Jose and St. Louis that were finished in the under. The Blues lean on their sturdy defense, while the Sharks rely on their powerful offense, so this one could easily go either way. Also, the Sharks are struggling defensively all season long and the over has hit in 12 of their last 17 outings along with a push so I will take the over.
Prediction: Over 5.5 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Sharks won the 1st period in the opening game of the series and in the previous one, while the Blues won the 1st period in Game 2. On all three occasions, the team that had a lead after the 1st period won the clash in the end. The Blues won the 1st period in two of their last six outings at home, while the Sharks lost the 1st period just once in their previous six showings on the road along with three wins and a couple of ties. Considering the stats and current form, the Sharks have an advantage. However, the Blues cannot allow the Sharks to grab a lead early in the game, so I’m taking a tie.
Prediction: Tie (+170)
Half-Time Side Pick
Two of the previous three games in this series had two or more goals in the 1st period. Also, seven of the Blues’ last nine contests saw two or more 1st-period goals, while five of the Sharks’ last ten outings had at least two goals in the 1st period. Considering the recent displays, I’m taking the over, while I’m already backing the over on the totals. An early opener will easily lead to another goal in the 1st period.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (-110)