Los Angeles Kings (+104) at San Jose Sharks (-115, 5 o/u)
Someone forgot to tell the San Jose Sharks (2-1, 0-1 home) and Los Angeles Kings (1-2, 1-0 road) that home-ice is supposed to be an advantage. The road team has taken all three games in the series to date. San Jose can take a commanding 3-1 series lead, though, if they can just find a way to get it done in front of their fans tonight at the SAP Center (10:30 PM Eastern).
After winning the first two games in LA, the Sharks had a great chance to take a stranglehold on the series on Monday, but fell 2-1 in OT, letting the Kings back into the best-of-seven. The road dominance continued a trend from the regular season. All told this year, the Sharks are 4-0-0 in Los Angeles, while the Kings are 3-1 in San Jose. (San Jose also won just 16 games at home all year, the fewest among playoff teams.)
San Jose coach Peter DeBoer was pleased with everything but the result on Monday, telling the Associated Press, “I couldn’t care less where we win the game. We played well enough to win the game tonight. We outshot them, out-chanced them. We didn’t win.”
The Kings showed championship resolve in Game 3. They fell behind 1-0 just 30 seconds into the game, but knotted the game later in the first on a goal by Anze Kopitar. That was the third time in three games that LA has surrendered the first goal.
“It’s not the start that we wanted, obviously, but we trust each other in here that we were going to bounce back,” said Tanner Pearson, who scored the eventual winner three minutes into the extra frame, to the league’s official website. “It’s a confident group when our backs are against the wall. We’re still there and we’ve got to fight back to even up the series.”
As mentioned, the trends favor LA for this tilt (4-1 SU in the last five in San Jose). But, at some point, a home team is going to win a game in this series. Don’t get caught up in the road trend and bet the team that has played better hockey so far. That’s the Sharks.
Pick: Sharks (-115).
(Photo Credit: pointnshoot (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])