2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #2
#3 San Jose Sharks at #2 St. Louis Blues
Blues Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, Missouri
Opening Line: St. Louis -130 / San Jose +110
Current Line: St. Louis -130 / San Jose +110
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
The St. Louis Blues took game one of the Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 victory Sunday night over the San Jose Sharks. The Blues look to hold serve at home before the series switches to San Jose for game three Thursday.
San Jose is coached by Peter DeBoer. The Sharks finished third in the Pacific Division with 98 points. San Jose beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the first round, but the first four games were decided by one goal. The Sharks then beat the Nashville Predators in seven games in the second round. San Jose is 54-35-3-3 this season and the total is 48-36-12.
St. Louis is coached by Ken Hitchcock. The Blues finished second in the Central Division with 107 points, two points behind the Dallas Stars. St. Louis beat the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games in the first round, with six of the seven games decided by one goal. In the second round, St. Louis beat Dallas in seven games. In the last three St. Louis wins in that series, the Blues outscored the Stars 16-3. St. Louis is 58-30-5-4 this season and the total is 38-43-16.
In game one between the Sharks and Blues, St. Louis scored first 15 minutes into the first period on a power play goal from David Backes. The Sharks tied it up 34 seconds later on a goal from Tomas Hertl. Jori Lehtera scored midway through the second to give the Blues a 2-1 lead. Neither team would score again. The Sharks outshot the Blues 32-23 including 16-5 in the second period. The Sharks won 40 faceoffs to 30 for the Blues. San Jose went 0/3 on the power play and St. Louis was 1/2.
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San Jose is outscoring teams 3.23-2.31 in the playoffs. The Sharks lead the league in playoff scoring. San Jose averages 28.9 shots per game and opponents average 28.1 per game. The Sharks are 13/45 (28.9%) on the power play and 29/36 (80.6%) on the penalty kill. The Sharks have allowed one shorthanded goal in the playoffs.
Goalie Martin Jones is 8-5 in the playoffs for the Sharks. He has a GAA of 2.16 and a save percentage of .918 (335/365). He has one shutout in the post-season. James Reimer is the back-up but hasn’t seen any action in the postseason.
Center Logan Couture leads all playoff scorers with 17 points including 10 assists. Defenseman Brent Burns has 16 points with 12 assists. Joe Pavelski has 14 points with 9 goals. Joe Thornton has 11 points with 8 assists. Patrick Marleau has nine points with 5 assists. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joel Ward and Joonas Donskoi all have at least 7 points in the playoffs. Left wing Matt Nieto is doubtful with a leg injury.
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St. Louis is outscoring teams 3.07-2.33 in the playoffs. The Blues are #3 in scoring in the playoffs. St. Louis averages 28.5 shots per game and opponents average 32.8. The Blues are 12/42 (28.6%) on the power play and 34/42 (82%) on the penalty kill. St. Louis has allowed one shorthanded goal.
Goalie Brian Elliot is 9-6 in the playoffs. He has a 2.20 GAA and has made 450/483 saves (.932). He has one shutout. Back-up Jake Allen has played for 41 minutes in the playoffs. He hasn’t allowed a goal in seven shots faced.
Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has 13 points with 7 goals. He missed the morning skate due to the birth of his child but is expected to play in game two. Center Robby Fabbri has 13 points with 10 assists. Center David Backes has 13 points with seven goals. Jaden Schwartz has 12 points with 9 assists. Kevin Shattenkirk has 11 points with 9 assists. Troy Brouwer has 10 points with 5 goals. Five other players have at least seven points.
San Jose is 10-3 in Tuesday games, 16-5 after scoring 2 goals or less, 19-7 against teams with winning records, 3-13 in Conference Final games, 0-4 in road games and against teams with winning home records. The over is 8-3-1 in this series recently including 5-2 in St. Louis.
St. Louis is 13-3 after scoring 2 goals or less, 24-8 against Pacific teams, 5-2 against teams with winning records, overall and on one day rest, 20-8 against Western Conference teams, 17-7 after allowing 2 goals or less, and 41-19 in Tuesday games.
The Sharks couldn’t score against Elliot in game one despite peppering the net with shots. I think they will be better in game two. I like the Sharks to earn a split on the road.
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