Free NHL Consensus Playoffs Picks: Sharks vs Ducks Prediction
The NHL Playoffs are finally among us. The first round of the playoffs kicked off on Wednesday night with three matchups. Five more games are on the board for Thursday night. The Ducks and Sharks meet in a California rivalry for the first round. Game 1 will start at 7:30 PM Pacific time on USA Channel. My picks for tonight is below and the odds can be found at Sportsbetting.ag – Don’t Miss 75% Up To $1000 Bonus.
San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks Prediction
San Jose finished the regular season with a 45-27-10 record. The Sharks finished third in the Pacific Division after holding the second-place seed throughout most of the season. San Jose lost five of their last six games. Anaheim went 44-25-13, which allowed them to clinch second-place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks ended the season on a five-game winning streak.
The Ducks and Sharks met a total of four times throughout the regular season. The Sharks hosted the first two matchups of the season on November 4 and November 20. The two teams ended up splitting the season series. San Jose won the first game 2-1 in a shootout. Martin Jones stopped 25 shots. Ryan Miller had 44 saves. Anaheim ended up getting the victory in the second matchup. The Ducks won 3-2 in another shootout. Joonas Donskoi scored two goals in regulation and had a goal in the shootout. Reto Berra had 40 saves for the Ducks. Martin Jones had 28 saves.
The third and fourth matchups between these teams were held in Anaheim. San Jose won the third game 6-2 on January 21. The Sharks were led by Mikkel Boedker, who scored two goals and added an assist. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots for the Sharks. The most recent matchup between the Ducks and Sharks was on February 11. The Sharks won 3-2 in another shootout. Logan Couture and Ondrej Kase each scored a goal and an assist for their respective teams. Martin Jones turned away 25 shots, while John Gibson had 37 saves.
The Sharks will likely be missing Joe Thornton and Joakim Ryan for Game 1. Barclay Goodrow is questionable for Game 1, while Eric Fehr and Evander Kane are likely to return for Game 1. Anaheim will be missing Patrick Eaves and Cam Fowler for Game 1 of the series. Kevin Bieksa and John Gibson are both questionable for Game 1.
San Jose Sharks (+125) at Anaheim Ducks (-138)
Martin Jones is expected to be in net for Game 1. Jones had a .915 save percentage and a 2.55 GAA during the regular season. He went 30-22-6 throughout the regular season. With Gibson likely out, Ryan Miller is projected to get the nod for Game 1. Miller had a GAA of 2.35 and a .928 save percentage. He went 21-12-6 this season.
The Sharks were successful against the Ducks during the regular season, but due to their end of season struggles, Anaheim was able to leap frog San Jose for home ice advantage in the first round. I believe San Jose will look to turn their struggles around early in the post-season and it will translate in Game 1. Anaheim was on a roll to end the season, but the break since Saturday could have cooled them off.
The Ducks opened as -150 favorites for Game 1 but have since gone down to -138. The line is getting much closer together and I believe the line is going in the right direction. San Jose has a legitimate opportunity in this series to pull off the upset, but it will take a good Game 1 performance to do so.