Vegas (0-1) at San Jose (1-0)
When: Friday, April 12th, 2019
Where: SAP Center,
San Jose, CA
Time: 10:35 ET | TV: NBC Sports
Opening Odds: San Jose -132/6.5
The Vegas Golden Knights lost just one Game 1 in their historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season last Spring, and rebounded from that loss to defeat the Winnipeg Jets in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Fast-forward to 2019 and the Knights are in the same predicament in their first round series with the San Jose, as the Sharks swarmed Vegas 5-2 in the opener on Wednesday behind their offensive-minded defensemen. San Jose received multiple-point performances from blue-liners Brent Burns (goal, assist), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (goal, assist), and Erik Karlsson (two assists) to improve to 26-11-5 this year at SAP Center. Burns’ goal was his 16th in the postseason, breaking the franchise record for a defenseman and is three points away from Dan Boyle’s 48 career points in the playoffs at that position. The Knights have now lost five road games in a row dating back to the regular season, with their last victory coming at San Jose on March 18th. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had two shutouts en route to bouncing the Sharks in six games during last year’s second-round series, but allowed four goals on 32 shots in Wednesday’s Game 1. Vegas will look to even the series Friday and get back to The Strip, where they are much better.
Vegas’ offense came solely from Mark Stone, who recorded both of the Golden Knights’ goals in the opener. Linemate Max Pacioretty assisted on both goals to improve his postseason total to 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 39 career games, but the top line was held in check as the Knights recorded just 10 shots on goal through two periods. Center Paul Stastny also recorded an assist for his sixth point in five games.
Captain Joe Pavelski recorded a hard-earned goal that knocked out a few teeth after Burns’ shot hit him flush in the mouth before the puck crossed the goal line. Pavelski came back onto the ice shortly after – as hockey players do – and helped his team to an easy Game 1 victory. Pavelski led the Sharks in goals during the regular season (38), but had just one against Vegas in last year’s second-round series. San Jose is 13-7 all-time when winning the first game of a playoff series.
I think Game 1 was a true indication of how this series is going to go. The Knights are not the same team as they were a year ago and don’t have the depth San Jose possesses. Look for the Sharks to strike early again and take a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Pick: Sharks -130
Golden Knights are 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Golden Knights are 4-1 in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Golden Knights are 7-19 in their last 26 games as an underdog.
Golden Knights are 5-16 in their last 21 games as a road underdog.
Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Pacific.
Golden Knights are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
Golden Knights are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
Golden Knights are 1-8 in their last 9 overall.
Golden Knights are 1-10 in their last 11 games as an underdog of +110 to +150.
Golden Knights are 1-10 in their last 11 games as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
Golden Knights are 0-5 in their last 5 road games.
Golden Knights are 0-5 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Golden Knights are 0-5 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Sharks are 5-0 in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Sharks are 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite.
Sharks are 22-8 in their last 30 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Sharks are 23-9 in their last 32 games following a win.
Sharks are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
Sharks are 19-8 in their last 27 vs. Western Conference.
Sharks are 40-19 in their last 59 vs. Pacific.
Sharks are 4-9 in their last 13 overall.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.