San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche - 12/23/13
Colorado Avalanche (23-10-2) at San Jose Sharks (22-8-6)
NHL Hockey: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm (SAP Center)
The Line: San Jose Sharks -200 / Colorado Avalanche +170 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
San Jose will look to string together back-to-back wins when the Sharks host to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.
Colorado is coming off of a loss to the Los Angeles Kings, a game where the Avalanche fought from behind only to lose in a shootout. Despite the disappointing result on Saturday night, the Avs are 3-1-2 in its last six. The Avalanche are getting great goaltending from Semyon Varlamov, who has posted a 1.91 goals-against average in his last five games. However, Varlamov has not performed well in the past against the Sharks, going 2-3-1 with a GAA of 3.40.
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The Sharks are riding a ten game home win streak heading into Monday’s game. After the loss of rookie offensive sensation Thomas Hertl last Thursday, Todd McLellan switched up the lines for Saturday’s game against the Stars. However, McLellan’s move may have disrupted chemistry with certain lines because the Sharks had to climb out of two goal deficit to win the game in a shootout. Antti Niemi had the night off on Saturday against Dallas, and will be rested for tonight’s game against a Colorado team that he has owned in the past. In his last eight games against the Avs, Niemi is 6-0-2 with a GAA under 2.0.
Both teams are in the thick of the tight Western Conference race, and with every point being crucial this game is sure to be hard fought. Colorado has not been fantastic on the road as of late with only one win in its last four road contests. On the other hand, San Jose has played its best hockey at the tank with a 12-1-3 record at the SAP Center. In the series between these two, the Sharks are 11-0-3 in the last 14 meetings, which includes victories in 12 of the last 13 meetings in San Jose. I think the Sharks will play well tonight and get the win before entering the holiday break. With no value on the money line and considering how much the Sharks have dominated the matchup, I think the puck line is the best play here.