Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks Game 3 Betting Lines - Free Pick
The Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks continue their best-of-seven battle in this year's NHL Stanley Cup Finals with Game 3 this Saturday night. Following a change of venues to the West Coast, game time from the SAP Center is slated for 8 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
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The Penguins have made the most of their home ice advantage in the first two games of this best-of-seven showdown with a pair of one-goal wins to take a 2-0 series lead. After winning the opener 3-2 as a -129 favorite on a lone goal in the third period, Pittsburgh won Game 2 as a -124 favorite when Conor Sheary broke a 1-1 tie in overtime. The total stayed UNDER 5.5 in both games.
One of the main reasons that Pittsburgh does have the early lead has been its ability to keep the bulk of play in its opponent's half of the ice. In Game 1, the Penguins outshot San Jose 41-26. Nick Bonino netted the game winner in that contest with less than three minutes left in regulation. The Penguins only generated 30 shots on goal in Game 2, but they were able to hold the high-powered Sharks to 22 shots on the night.
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San Jose was the fourth-highest scoring team in the NHL in the regular season with 2.9 goals per game and it raised the bar in the postseason to 3.5 goals during its march to the Western Conference title. The total had gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in 12 of their previous 15 postseason games before this series. This is just the second time that the Sharks have been held to fewer than three goals in two consecutive games since their opening round series against Los Angeles.
Home ice could be just what San Jose needs to get back into this series. After posting a losing 18-20-3 record on their home ice in the regular season, the Sharks have gotten hot at the SAP Center in the playoffs with a 7-2 mark in nine previous games. They are also going to need centers' Joe Pavelski (13 goals) and Logan Couture (8 goals) to get hot as the team's top two sharpshooters after each was shutout in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins are 21-6 in their last 27 games against a team with a winning record and they have won 13 of their last 17 games on the road. The total has gone OVER in six of their last eight games against the Western Conference.
The Sharks are 8-1 in their last nine games playing on two day's rest and they have won four of their last five Saturday games. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in seven of their last eight home games.
Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks Game 3 Prediction
The change of venues out to the West Coast should work in the Sharks' favor and while I like their chances to close the gap with a win on Saturday night, my "best bet" pick is the OVER on the 5.5 total line with things opening up at the SAP Center.