San Jose Sharks (49-27-10) at Vegas Golden Knights (55-24-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 26, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vegas Golden Knights -129 / San Jose Sharks +117 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The San Jose Sharks and Las Vegas Golden Knights finally get back on the ice as the two Pacific division rivals square off for a spot in the Western Conference final in game one.
The Sharks made quick work of the Anaheim Ducks in the opening series and will face off against the upstart and surprising Golden Knights who swept the LA Kings out of the playoffs in what should be an exciting conference semi-final and divisional championship. The Sharks were written off at the beginning of the season and even more so once Joe Thornton went down with an injury but they could very well get the veteran forward back for this series as San Jose tries frantically to exorcize their playoff demons and finally claim the ever elusive Stanley Cup. The Sharks are 21-5 in their last 26 matchups against Pacific division rivals and are 10-2 in their last 12 games following a win and will turn to Martin Jones here as he will face off against Marc-Andre Fleury in Thursday night’s series opener.
The Knights meanwhile continue to defy the odds and not only won their first round series with the Kings, they didn’t drop a single game and looked like a seasoned group of veterans in the process as they have used their status as castoffs to their benefit all season long. Vegas didn’t have a ton of offensive success in their four game series win against Los Angeles but they have been one of the league’s best home teams all season long and are currently in the midst of a 12-1 mark in their last 13 games at home against a team with a winning road record. The Knights also won the season series against the Sharks and have won 30 of their 41 home games this season which puts them as a slight favourite to start this series on Thursday night.
The Sharks are 5-1 in their last six Thursday games and 4-0 in their last four overall while the Knights are 22-8 in their last 30 against the Pacific and 7-0 in their last seven against a team with a winning record. This building seems to have a ton of unders cashing in and with both of these teams experiencing a significant stretch of time off expect then to take a bit of time to get reacclimated and keep this one under the number.