The St. Louis Blues held serve at home in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals series against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Can they take a 2-0 lead on Tuesday before the series shifts to California? The Blues are -135 favorites on sports betting odds with a total of 5 goals.
San Jose at St. Louis NHL Playoffs Conference Round Game 2 & TV Info
When: Tuesday, May 17, 8 PM ET
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
TV: NBC Sports Network
Opening NHL Lines: Blues -135, Sharks +115 (5)
Sharks at Blues Historic Betting Trends
Goalie Brian Elliott was the star of Game 1 with 31 saves in the 2-1 Blues victory. The Sharks hit a few posts but Elliott also stood tall between the pipes. The 31-year-old has a 9-6 record with a 2.20 goals-against-average and a .932 save percentage this postseason.
Captain David Backes scored his seventh goal of the postseason in the win. He opened the scoring when he tipped in a point shot from Kevin Shattenkirk on the power play. Backes has earned two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. He has 13 points in 15 matches in the 2016 playoffs. Jori Lehtera scored the game-winner on Sunday. With the scored tied 1-1 in the second period, Lehtera’s innocent looking shot found its way behind Sharks goalie Martin Jones. Lehtera has two goals and seven points in 15 postseason games in 2016. The Blues were outshot 32-23, including 16-5 in the second period, but there was Elliott, stoning the team with the highest-scoring offense and second-ranked power play in these playoffs.
The Blues also got a break in the second period when an early whistle wiped out a goal at 18:46 that Elliott ended up kicking in when the puck got under him. Elliott improved to 4-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in five career postseason appearances against the Sharks.
The win was important on a couple of fronts for the Blues in that they straightened out some home issues. Before Game 1, they had dropped two of three at home. It’s also a good sign for St. Louis that the Blues penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 against the powerful Sharks power play.
Tomas Hertl had San Jose’s goal. It was originally given to Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, but Hertl eventually got credit for it. Hertl tied the game at one just 34 seconds after Backes opened the scoring in the opening frame. Pavelski and Brent Burns picked up the assists on San Jose’s only goal. Hertl has three goals and six points in 13 postseason games in 2016. Burns is second in the NHL in scoring with 16 points in 13 playoff games. Pavelski is tied for the league lead with nine goals in the postseason and he has 14 points in 13 matches.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer could make a lineup change for Game 2. He is pondering moving left wing Patrick Marleau back to third-line center so DeBoer can get better balance against a deep Blues lineup that uses Lehtera, Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen as the top three centers. Sharks forward Matt Nieto (undisclosed injury) continues to be day-to-day. Nieto, who has not played since Game 6 of the second round against the Nashville Predators, is expected at some point to return in the series.
Expert Betting Prediction
The Sharks are 4-11 all-time when losing Game 1. And I don’t think they win this series. Go St. Louis in Game 2.