Game 3 wasn’t exactly an overwhelming swing in momentum for the Sharks as they needed overtime to register their first win in the series. However, style points don’t count and now they are back in this series.
The Los Angeles Kings can win because…
They’ve been the better of the two teams in this series. The Kings took the first two contests and somewhat eased up in Game 3, which is where the Sharks were able to swoop in and get the win.
San Jose barely scraped by in Game 3 as they needed overtime just to survive. They could easily be facing an 0-3 hole. The Sharks have mustered just five goals of offense in three games, which really means the Kings need just two or three goals to get a win here.
The Kings gave up a ton of shots, a ton of offensive zone possession and were undisciplined in Game 3. If any of those factors change, the Sharks are down 3-1.
The San Jose Sharks can win because…
The tide is finally going their way. People making their NHL picks saw the Sharks put forth their best effort of the series in Game 3 and that resulted in a win. In Game 1, the Sharks outshot the Kings handily but were stonewalled 2-0. In Game 2, they were undisciplined and gave up three power play goals to the Kings and lost 4-3. In Game 3, though, the Sharks only took two penalties (and killed off both) and outshot the Kings 40-27. That’s what resulted in their win.
Those stats are a reflection of effort and intensity. When the Sharks forecheck is strong, they put a lot of pressure on the Kings and goaltender Jonathan Quick. They need to dictate the pace once again and they’ll even up the series.
Outlook & Pick
Looking back, the Sharks blew Game 2 by allowing two goals in the last two minutes to lose 4-3, then won at home in Game 3. Does that mean that they’ve figured the Kings out? Game 4 is a coin toss and can really go either way. That’s why we’ll stick with the under on the NHL odds and hope to cash that in for a third time in this series.
NHL Pick: Under 4.5 at William Hill