Bitter Rivals at it
The Sharks will host the Kings on Sunday night in San Jose, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:05 PM ET. This will be Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals best-of-7 series in which San Jose holds a 1-0 lead. According to my projected NHL betting odds San Jose will be a -135 money line home favorite and the posted total will be 5.0.
Flying out of the Gate for the Sharks
The San Jose Sharks couldn’t have written a better script as to how they wanted to begin the 2014 NHL Playoffs. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period, and held a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the 2nd intermission in route to a 6-3 win. They received balanced scoring as 4 separate players each accounted for 2-points apiece in the win. The 6-goals were even more impressive considering the fact it came versus the best defensive scoring team in the NHL, and against an opponent in which they scored just 8-goals total in 5 regular season meetings this season. The Sharks are now 30-12 in their home building this season.
Kings Overwhelmed Early in Series Opener
In saying that the Los Angeles Kings came out flat in Thursday night’s 6-3 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks would be a vast understatement. Adding insult to injury was the fact that star goaltender Jonathan Quick was pulled from the game after the 2nd period after surrendering 5-goals on 28 shots on net. On a more positive note was the fact the Kings put together a strong 3rd period holding a 16-5 advantage in shots on goal, and scored 3 unanswered goals to pull within 5-3, before the Sharks cashed in on an empty net goal with under a minute to play for the final margin of victory. The Kings will look to take the momentum they established during the 3rd period, and carry it over to Game 2 of the series.
This is a battle tested Los Angeles Kings team who was embarrassed by their effort in the first 2 periods of the series opener. They also received a rare poor showing from Jonathan Quick which will be highly unlikely to happen in consecutive games. San Jose tailed off a bit in the 3rd period of Game 1 after jumping out to a comfortable lead, and may become a victim of their own confidence in Game 2 of the series. The Sharks aren’t as good as they looked, and the Kings nowhere as bad they performed on Thursday. I look for a reverse of fortunes on Sunday night.
Free Pick: Kings +120 over the Sharks