San Jose vs Florida NHL Odds Prediction
Can anyone stop the streaky red-hot San Jose Sharks? That’s the question on everyone’s mind, as the Sharks embark on their Thursday road trip to the BB&T Center, where they will be facing the Atlantic-leading Florida Panthers. To answer this question, let’s take a brief NHL odds outlook at this game, keeping in mind the NHL betting spread pointers detailed below.
How to Bet San Jose at Florida NHL Odds Matchup and TV Information
Two Jumbo help #SJSharks stop Lightning.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 17, 2016
Why Bet on San Jose (30-20-5, 65pts)
The Sharks, following their 4-2 road win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, extended their streak to two games and a 7-2-2 mark in their last 11 games. More notably, that victory allowed the Sharks to improve to 19-8-2 on the road after opening a five-game trip with a win. Joel Ward and Matt Nieto both had a goal and an assist on Tuesday, while veteran center Joe Thornton—who has a six-game point streak (6 assists, 9 points) and is now 15th on the NHL all-time assist list—added two assists in the all-rounded performance.
Meanwhile, after going six games without a goal, San Jose’s leading scorer Joe Pavelski happily got back in scoring ways, notching his 26th goal of the season, with Melker Karlsson also scoring for the Sharks to help in downing the pesky Lightning. In the defense, Martin Jones improved to 11-2-1 in his last 14 decisions after making 28 saves in the solid effort against Tampa Bay.
With the momentum from this win and the motivation that their stars are playing well, the Sharks will be buoyed of going for another win over the Panthers. The fact that San Jose has a solid offense that ranks fourth in the NHL in goals per game (2.9) and third in power play percentage (22.6) will be a big boost for their winning chances. It, however, remains to be seen if this offense will be able to outplay Florida’s good defense that ranks fifth in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.3).
Why Bet on Florida (33-18-6, 72pts)
The Panther weren’t as dominant as the Sharks in their last outing, but they did enough to claim a winning result, edging off the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2-1 shootout home win. Florida’s top goaltender Al Montoya (1.98 GAA) starred with a game-high 31 saves, including a stop on Pittsburgh’s Matt Cullen in the fifth round of the shootout to seal the Monday night victory. That win helped put an end to the Panthers’ two-game losing skid (with losses to St. Louis and Nashville), while improving Florida’s record to 6-3-1 in the last 10 overall games and 18-9-3 at home this season.
Given that Boston (68 points) and Detroit (67 points) are both surging in the Atlantic, the Panthers will definitely want to win this game, hopefully in regulation time to help bump their lead atop the divisional standings. To do so, the Panthers will need their offense to find the back of net in a more clinical way. This will be very crucial, as the Panthers were outscored 10-3 in their previous losses to St. Louis and Nashville, before eking out a 2-1 win over the Pens.
With the Sharks known for their strong ability to light up the lamp, Florida will need more than just a strong defense to win this game. Fortunately for the Panthers, San Jose is allowing 2.7 goals per game this season (17th in the NHL), which should allow the likes of Reilly Smith (team-best 18 goals plus 16 assists) and Florida’s leader in points Jaromir Jagr (40 points) to feature serviceably in the attacking department.
San Jose at Florida NHL Picks and Predictions
While the Panthers have been a good team at home, their recent struggles make me doubt their capacity to stop the Sharks, who’ve actually been playing better on the road than at home. Furthermore, the Sharks easily won the first meeting between the two teams 5-2 on November 5th at SAP Center. Meanwhile, the Panthers have picked up just a single point (against the Ducks) in five games against the three NHL clubs hailing from the California area. With that, I believe the Sharks will be able to continue their hot run with another win over the recently-wobbly Panthers.
Free NHL Picks: San Jose for SU
Score Prediction: San Jose 3, Florida 2.