San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights

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The Vegas Golden Knights are on a quest to win the Stanley Cup and have played like one of the best teams in the NHL this season. After a 2-1 scare against the San Jose Sharks, the Golden Knights have won the last 3 games to improve to 19-6-1 on the season. The Sharks meanwhile, have struggled this season but hope that the roster can turn the corner on the season.

Sharks defense has struggled

The Sharks won 3 games in a row prior to the 2-1 defeat Monday night and the talent is there to help the team compete. Unfortunately, the struggles on the defensive end have been the team undoing, allowing 3.4 goals per game. While Erik Karlsson has played well this season, adding 1.1 defensive point shares and 34 blocked shots but the rest of the unit has struggled and the once-reliable goaltender Martin Jones has become a liability, saving less than .900 percent of shots and allowing 3.6 goals per game.

In addition to the defense struggling, the offense has been a disappointment on the season thus far, scoring 2.7 goals per game. While Logan Couture and Evander Kane have combined for 24 goals, the rest of the roster has struggled and the once deep scoring unit is now one line strong.

Vegas defense is leading the way

The Vegas Golden Knights have looked like one of the best teams in the NHL this season and poised to compete for the Stanley Cup. While their offense looks flashy enough, their defense has been the unit that has gotten the job done, allowing only 2.1 goals per game. Alec Martinez is playing at a Norris Trophy level and along with his pairing Shea Theodore, have combined for 4.1 defensive point shares and 99 blocked shots. In addition to the strong defense, Marc-Andre Fleury has been playing like a Vezina Trophy goaltender, allowing only 1.7 goals per game.

While the defense has done more than enough to win games the offense has been an incredible unit, scoring 3.2 goals per game with 3 goal scorers scoring more than 10 goals on the season. Max Pacioretty is leading the way with 14 goals this season but Mark Stone is adding 10 goals and 23 assists as the hardest player to defend on the Golden Knights roster. In addition, defenseman Shea Theodore is also making his mark on the offensive end, scoring 4 goals and dishing out 15 assists.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Sharks gave the Golden Knights a run for their money in the recent game and it’s easy to think that the same will happen again in the upcoming game. However, the first game was more of the outlier and not the rule as Vegas outmatches the Sharks in every position. The Golden Knights should be able to pile on the goals in the game with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty constantly finding the back of the net while the Golden Knights defense clamps down on the Sharks top line. The Golden Knights should not only win this game but cover the spread as well in a statement victory.

Prediction:
Golden Knights -1.5 (+106)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The two teams combined for 3 goals in the first game, indicating that another low-scoring game is coming. While Vegas plays great defense, the offense should be able to find life in this game and constantly find the back of the net in this game, especially on a struggling defense in San Jose. Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alex Tuch should all be able to find plenty of scoring opportunities, especially when Erik Karlsson is off the ice. In addition, the Evander Kane and Logan Couture line should be able to find a few scoring chances to keep the game a high-scoring one. Expect the total to go Over with both offenses finding their rhythm in this game.

Prediction:
Over 6