NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks did what they had to do in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals and have survived to face a Game Six on home ice at the SAP Center. Or at least that’s the story line you’ll be seeing today. The reality is that the Sharks played the same kind of game that got them into the 3-1 hole they faced before Game Five in the first place. They were completely bailed out by Martin Jones who continues to receive little to no help from his defense.

The final scoreline of Game Five read San Jose 4 Pittsburgh 2 but it was close throughout until Joe Pavelski’s empty net goal provided the final margin. The real story isn’t the ‘inspired play’ of the Sharks who were bailed out by their goaltender Martin Jones combined with a marginal effort from Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray. Murray is a rookie and not every night at the office is going to be great. The bottom line is that nothing happened to suggest that the dynamics of this series has changed. Pittsburgh outshot San Jose 46-22 and badly did so in all three periods–15-7 in the first, 17-8 in the second and 14-7 in the third. San Jose has allowed 30+ shots on goal in four of the five games and 40+ shots on goal in three of them. Pittsburgh has kept San Jose bottled up on offense and has done so with consistency–their Stanley Cup Final shots against totals are 26, 22, 26, 24 and 22. The Penguins had more hits, takeways (though they also gave the puck away 10 times) and weren’t exactly dominated on playoffs (San Jose led 36-34). They also held the Sharks without a power play goal for the fourth straight game making San Jose 1 for 10 on the series with the man advantage.

Pittsburgh knows that they can’t take any chances that Martin Jones will steal the series. Despite the porous Sharks’ defense he’s completely capable of doing so. Look for the Penguins to end the series here. Assuming Murray returns to form, the way they played in Game Five will get the job done nicely.