Nashville Predators (+145) at San Jose Sharks (-165, 5 o/u)
The Nashville Predators (7-6 SU, 3-4 road) are in familiar territory, playing in a Game 7 for the second series in a row. After taking down the Anaheim Ducks on the road, they’ll look to do the same against the San Jose Sharks (7-4 SU, 4-1 home), tonight at the SAP Center (9:00 PM Eastern).
After falling 0-2 in the series, the Predators have won three of the last four and forced a win-or-go-home situation against a Sharks team that looked superior on paper. Nashville won 4-3 last Monday in overtime, outshooting San Jose 32-18 and outhitting them 39-22. Momentum is going Nashville way, and that’s a great scenario to be in going into a Game 7, even if the meeting is on the road.
“It’s two good teams going at it,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told the Associated Press. “It should come down to a Game 7. We’re excited and looking forward to it in our building.”
San Jose fans will tell themselves they are 3-0 in the series at home against the Predators and have outplayed them in all three meetings. The Sharks have scored 13 goals in games played at the SAP Center: Nashville has just five.
The key for the Predators is to keep this game close until the Sharks start doubting themselves. Nashville is 5-1 in one-goal games during this postseason.
San Jose isn’t without its bumps entering this game. Winger Matt Nieto is questionable for Game 7 after crashing hard into goalie Pekka Rinne with 3:31 left in the first period of Game 6.
“He’s a great player,” San Jose center Chris Tierney said of Nieto. “He plays with speed, he can make plays; he does a lot of things. It shuffles up the lines a bit, but we have guys capable of taking his spot. It always sucks to lose a key guy like that.”
Nashville has the momentum going their way. Game 7 is a great scenario to pull another upset as they did with the Ducks. While I feel the Sharks are the better team, it will be hard to stop a team that has come out swinging in three of the last four games of the series.
Pick: Predators (+145).
(Photo Credit: mark6mauno (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)