San Jose Sharks (51-22-9) at Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 22, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -135 / San Jose Sharks +115 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Sharks look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over their archrivals from Los Angeles as the series shifts to the Staples Center on Tuesday night.
The Sharks have been absolutely brilliant through the first two playoff games this season as they have racked up 13 goals on the defensively sound LA Kings in what has surely been the biggest shock of the opening round thus far. It comes as no surprise that San Jose has been victorious but it is a huge shock that San Jose has completely dominated the Kings and even after falling behind 2-0 in the early going of game two the Sharks responded with seven unanswered goals to take what is easily the most lopsided victory of the 2014 playoffs. This series was billed as a dog fight between two of the game’s best teams and it was the Kings who actually were the trendy pick to advance based on their goaltending advantage and their depth offensively. So far through two games, the Sharks have had the better goaltending by a mile and they are running all four lines very well and a large part of that comes from the return of rookie Thomas Hertl whose presence on the top line allows Joe Pavelski to move back and play the third line centre role.
The Kings are in a state of shock and disarray at the moment as they looked as though they were going to turn the series around after generating momentum at the end of game one and taking an early two goal lead in game two but they were absolutely demolished from the 10-minute mark onward. Los Angeles on paper is a very dangerous team that many, including yours truly, had advancing to the Conference finals but so far they haven’t even warranted their position in the postseason and if they drop another one on home ice in the next two games they can kiss their Cup hopes goodbye for another season. They say you aren’t in trouble in the playoffs until you lose at home which isn’t something the Kings do very often, especially to San Jose as these two teams always seem to find a way to upend one another when playing in their own arena. While that theory may prove otherwise at some point in this series it is something to consider when looking at the lines and while I have been a huge supporter of the Kings all season long and predicted them to beat San Jose in seven games they haven’t given us any reason to support them right now. With Martin Jones possibly getting the nod to start in this one and the confidence level being through the roof right now in San Jose I think the Sharks are the play here and getting plus money is an added bonus.