Nothing spells Stanley Cup Playoff disaster better than dropping your first two games of a series at home but that is what has happened to the Anaheim Ducks. The San Jose Sharks suffocated Anaheim in a 3-0 win for game one with a dominant performance in which they outshout the Ducks 34-25. Anaheim showed up unprepared and paid the price. In game two the Ducks bolted out of the gate with a goal in the first 40 seconds but were again worn down and outshout by the Sharks 35-30 in a costly 3-2 loss. Now at the Shark Tank the Ducks are trying not to drown.
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Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: SAP Center, San Jose, California
NHL Odds at Betcris: Check Back Later
Ducks vs. Sharks TV Coverage: GOLF Channel
This is a best of seven opening round series between teams that are rivals in the Pacific Division. Two of the most underrated coaches in the NHL will match wits in this one. Anaheim’s Randy Carlyle led the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship. San Jose’s Peter DeBoer led the Sharks to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. He had previously coached the New Jersey Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
San Jose center Joe Thornton has been questionable with a knee injury. The 38-year-old top overall draft pick of 1997 had a respectable 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games this season.
Players to Watch
San Jose left wing Evander Kane arrived at the trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres and has made an immediate and profound impact for the Sharks. In fact, since his arrival they have been an entirely different team. Kane had nine goals and five assists in 17 regular season games with a plus five. He scored two goals at Anaheim to open the series with a statement. Kane’s presence also serves to free up teammates because opposing defenses must focus on trying to neutralize him.
For Anaheim, center and team captain Ryan Getzlaf has got to deliver the goods. Held to one assist in the first two games he scored eight goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff games last year. Getzlaf’s leadership and production are mandatory if the Ducks are to get back into the series.
Anaheim’s John Gibson had a regular season save percentage of .926 but that has dropped to .913 in the playoffs.
San Jose’s Martin Jones posted a regular season save percentage of .915 but has dominated in the playoffs at .964.
Anaheim’s power play has not been an asset this year with a ranking of just 23rd in the NHL for efficiency. Conversely the Ducks penalty killing was quite good with a ranking of fifth.
San Jose’s power play ranked a mediocre 16th in the NHL. Their penalty killing was superb and ranked second best in the league.
Anaheim posted a road record this year of 18-15-3-5 with just 14 of their road tilts going over the total. The Ducks ranked 18th in the NHL for goal scoring this year. Defensively Anaheim was strong and ranked third best for goals against.
San Jose was 25-13-2-1 at home this season with just 19 of their home games going under the total. March was the month that sparked them towards the playoffs as they went 10-4-1 for the month. Evander Kane proved to be a major impact. On the season the Sharks ranked 13th in the NHL for goal scoring while ranking 10th for goals against.
Ducks vs. Sharks Free Picks
Anaheim may provide superior betting value here as the down and out road dog that is certainly capable of improved play.
Ducks vs. Sharks Pick: Bet the Anaheim Ducks on the money line
Ducks vs. Sharks Score Prediction: Ducks 4, Sharks 2
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