NHL Picks: Goal Bonanza In Stars & Sharks, Take 'Over' 5.5

Jay Pryce

Saturday, January 16, 2016 8:08 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 8:08 PM GMT

The Sharks look to make it five wins in a row against the NHL points-leading Stars on Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET). San Jose's offense is heating up, while the Stars are falling back down to earth.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2861966, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

NHL Pick: Over 5.5
Best Line Offered: at WagerWeb

 

The Sharks look to make it five wins in a row against the NHL points-leading Stars on Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET). San Jose's offense is heating up, while the Stars are falling back down to earth.

 

San Jose Sharks (22-18-2, 46 pts)
The Sharks are showing some signs of life on offense after a relatively sluggish fist half, netting 3.5 goals a night in the last calendar month. Veteran defenseman Brent Burns and first-line center Joe Pavelski lead the team in offensive point shares. Burns is not afraid to fire away, putting up a whopping 180 shots on goal this season. The two have combined for 40 goals and 43 assists on the year. 

San Jose is just 7-12-0 at home this season, netting only 46 goals, third-fewest on home ice in the league. It has posted 18 in its last six at the SAP Center, however. 

Coach Todd McLellan hopes Pavelski can find the net more often. The team is 4-10 at home when the 10-year pro fails to score a goal. He's lit the lamp just four times in 12 games against teams (Stars, Sabres) coached by Lindy Ruff in his career. 

Goalie Martin Jones' play has been spotty at the SAP Center this season, going 6-10 with a .904 save percentage and 2.54 goals against average. In two career starts against the Stars, both coming with his former team the Kings, Jones is 0-2 with a lowly .880 save percentage.

The Sharks' 2-1 win over the Oilers on Thursday gave them their first two-game home-win streak on the season.

 

Dallas Stars (29-12-4, 62 pts)
The Stars roll out the best top line in the NHL with Patrick Sharp, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin up front. The latter two have 53 and 51 points respectively, ranking second and third behind Patrick Kane (63) for the most in the league. 

The New Year has not been kind for Ruff's squad.  It is 1-4-1 since the since January 1.  Analyzing advanced metrics such as Corsi uncovers the recent slide may be attributed to a tired defense failing to limit high-danger scoring chances (it played four games in an eight-day stretch), and a little bad luck. Nevertheless, the Stars have given up 22 goals in the last six games.

Both of these squads have a shoot-first team mentality, averaging 30-plus shots on goal per game. For what it's worth, the OVER is 7-3 when Dallas matches up with Pacific division foes. Let's review the NHL odds for our final analysis.

 

Final Analysis
This might be the perfect team for Dallas to break its streak. Todd McLellan's squad is one of the best at retaining the puck and will lean on its offensive forecheck. The defenders are very aggressive in this set, aiming to pinch the boards and keep the puck nestled in the zone. Burns and company will have to make precise decisions, though. The Stars like to bust teams on the break at every opportunity. They are arguably the fastest team in the NHL and designed to beat opponents in transition with lighting speed. These two, in fact, averaged seven goals a game in three meetings last season. With the Sharks finding their scoring touch recently, this matchup could see lots of goals again, and the value may be in the total. OVER 5.5 (-110) is the NHL pick.

comment here