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The San Jose Sharks opened their 2021 NHL regular season with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The Sharks will meet the Coyotes again in Arizona on Saturday. Tomas Hertl scored a pair of goals for San Jose in the opening period including one on the power play and finished with three points after assisting on another goal for the Sharks. San Jose’s defense gave up a bit more than expected but the offensive output of Hertl and Evander Kane was enough to give San Jose the victory.
Arizona will look to bounce back with a stronger defensive effort when hosting the Sharks on Saturday after giving up three goals in regulation in their loss on opening night Thursday. Clayton Keller was stopped by San Jose goalie Martin Jones in the shootout that gave the Sharks the victory and Arizona its opening game loss. Phil Kessel was able to score with only 3.2 seconds to play in regulation for Arizona to send the game to extra time and eventually the shootout
San Jose offense looks strong to open the season
San Jose scored three goals during regulation in their opening game victory over Arizona. Tomas Hertl scored two goals in the first period and Evander Kane scored in the third period. The Sharks took 35 shots and after one game are averaging 3.00 goals per game while allowing an average of 3.00 goals per game. The San Jose power play converted 25% of its opportunities while the penalty kill was successful 75% of the time.
Tomas Hertl is leading San Jose in goals scored with two, Evander Kane is the leader in assists with two and Hertl and Kane have three points each to lead. Brent Burns has for penalty minutes to lead San Jose and in goal Martin Jones is 1-0-0 with a goals-against-average 2.82 and save percentage of .892.
Injury Report: Radim Simek is questionable, while Maxim Letunov and Rudolfs Balcer are each out indefinitely
Arizona’s rally falls short
Midway through the final period, the Arizona Coyotes trailed 3-1 in their season opener after Evander Kane scored for San Jose, but the Coyotes scored twice during the final 3:30 including a goal by Kessel with just 3.2 second remaining. However, the rally would fall short when the Coyotes lost in the shootout. Arizona netminder Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves.
After just one game of the NHL regular season, Conor Garland, Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun each have two points to lead Arizona, while Keller, Garland and Phil Kessel each have one goal and Chychrun is the leader in assists with two. Niklas Hjalmarsson has a team-high two minutes in penalty minutes. In goal, Darcy Kuemper is 0-0-1 with a goals-against average of 2.86 and a save percentage of .914.
Injury Report: Marian Hossa is out for the season
- Arizona is 4-1 in the last five on Saturday
- San Jose is 1-4 in the last five
- The Sharks are 1-5 in the last six on the road
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although Arizona lost its opening game, the Coyotes played well after a very slow start. The Arizona offense did not show up until the final three minutes of the third period, but when it did Arizona scored twice to send the game to overtime. Arizona’s Phil Kessel, Conor Garland and Clayton Kellerall played well on opening night and will be in the face of San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones from the opening faceoff on Saturday, clogging up the crease and giving Jones visibility problems. San Jose has lost five of its last six played on the road and four of its last five overall.
Arizona Coyotes -124
Full-Game Total Pick
San Jose does not have the best defense and will face a barrage of shots from Arizona on Saturday. The total has finished over in four of the Sharks last six games overall. The total has also finished over in 5 of the last 6 games that San Jose has played on the road against Arizona with the sixth game a push, which took place on Thursday. The total has also finished over in four of the last five games Arizona has played and in six of the last eight games overall between Arizona and San Jose.