San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights

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The San Jose Sharks will arrive Monday in Sin City riding a three-game win streak after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Saturday to sweep the Ducks in a two-game series. In the victory on Saturday, Evander Kane scored a goal in his third consecutive game and Martin Jones made 26 saves in net. San Jose is 11-11-3 with 25 points. The Sharks are 7th in the West division and trail first-place Vegas by 12 points.

Vegas has won two straight and eight of the last 10. The Golden Knights are 18-6-1 with 37 points and hold a four-point lead over both the Minnesota Wild and St Louis Blues. The Golden Knights swept the Blues in a two-game series with a 5-1 victory on Saturday and a 5-4 victory Friday. Vegas has one of the best blue lines and goaltenders in the NHL allowing an average of only 2.20 goals-per-game.

San Jose giving up too many goals

Even though San Jose had won three straight, the Sharks are giving up far too many goals at an average of 3.52 per game and for that reason, San Jose is far down the standings in the West 12 points off the pace set by the first-place Vegas Golden Knights. Sharks starting goalie Martin Jones is 8-6-1 with a 3.64 goals-against average in .884 save percentage. Backup Devan Dubnyk is 3-5-2 with a 3.03 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. Dubnyk has one shutout. San Jose’s penalty-kill unit is holding opponents scoreless 79.3% of the time while shorthanded.

The attack zone for San Jose has not been able to keep up with the goals allowed by the blue line, as the Sharks are scoring an average of only 2.84 goals per game. Logan Couture is the leading goal scorer for San Jose with 13, while Evander Kane has scored 11 goals and has a team-high 12 assists. Kane leads the Sharks in points with 23. The Sharks have scored 15 power-play goals but San Jose’s power-play unit has been below average scoring 19.5% of the time with a man advantage.

Injury Report: Rudolfs Balcers is questionable Monday and Marcus Sorensen is out indefinitely

Vegas giving up goals few and far between

Vegas holds a four-point lead atop the West division and with good reason as the Golden Knights are allowing an average of only 2.20 goals-per-game. Marc-Andre Fleury has appeared in 19 of Vegas’s 25 games and is 14-5-0 with a superb 1.81 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage. Fleury has posted four shutouts this season. Robin Lehner has been assigned to the AHL for rehabilitation after missing several games due to injury. The penalty kill unit for Vegas has performed very well by holding opponents scoreless 85.3% of the time while shorthanded.

Vegas is also playing well in the attack zone as the Golden Knights are scoring an average of 3.32 goals per game. Max Pacioretty is leading Vegas in goals scored with 13 and is second in points with 25. Mark Stone is the leader in assists with 22 and is the overall points leader for Vegas with 31. The only visible weak leak for Vegas through the first 25 games of the regular season is the power play that is scoring only 16.9% of time. Vegas has scored only 13 power play goals.

Injury Report: William Carrier is questionable for Monday, while Alex Pietrangelo is out until late March and Jiri Patera is out indefinitely

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Vegas has too much in the attack zone and in its own end of the ice for San Jose to be any real threat. Vegas is scoring an average of 3.32 goals per game and allowing an average of only 2.20 goals per game. Marc-Andre Fleury is allowing an average of only 1.81 goals per game and has posted four shutouts this season through 19 appearances between the pipes. Vegas has won each of the last four versus San Jose. The Sharks blue line and goaltenders are giving up too many goals as San Jose is allowing an average of 3.52 goals while scoring an average of only 2.84 goals per game.

Prediction:
Vegas Golden Knights -242

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Anytime that Marc-Andre Fleury is in goal for Vegas the odds are high opponents will score two goals or fewer as the netminder is allowing an average of only 1.81 goals per game. The total has finished under in six of the last seven meetings between these two West Division rivals and in each of the last four played between the two in Sin City on Vegas’ home ice. The total has also finished under in three of San Jose’s last four with one push.

Prediction:
UNDER 6.5