San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5 Betting Lines - Free Pick
The 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Finals resume this Thursday night at Consol Energy Center with the San Jose Sharks fighting-off elimination against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of this best-of-seven tilt. The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
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Pittsburgh definitely smells blood in the water after bouncing back from a tough 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 as a +136 road underdog with the huge two-goal victory in Game 4 after closing as a +114 underdog on the road. The Penguins return to Consol Energy Arena with a 9-3 record in 12 previous playoff games on their home ice. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in eight of those 12 home games.
The Penguins lost Game 5 in their last two series against Washington in the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round and against Tampa Bay in the conference finals so there is still a chance they could trip-up this Thursday night. However it would be hard to argue against the fact that they are playing their best hockey of the year at just the right time. Credit rookie goalie Matt Murray for his part in shutting down the Sharks' potent scoring attack and credit Pittsburgh's stars such as Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for rising to the occasion when their team needed them to the most.
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San Jose has kept the pressure on offensively with its fourth game in a row of scoring three or more goals. The Sharks have now won five of their last eight playoff games and going back to a 3-2 victory against Los Angeles in Game 4 of that opening round series they have reached the three-goal mark in 12 of 14 postseason games. Returning home, the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in six of their last eight games at the SAP Center.
The trio of Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Logan Coutore have done the bulk of the damage in both this series and the playoffs in general. Pavelski (12 goals, 9 assists) netted two goals and an assist in Monday's win including the eventual game winner in the third period and Thornton (3 goals and 14 assist) added three assists to the winning cause. Couture added an assist to tie Thornton for the team lead in this category this offseason. Martin Jones stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced in goal and his save percentage in the playoffs now stands at .918 with a 2.13 goals-against average in 17 starts.
The Sharks 18-6 in their last 24 games after scoring two or less goals in their previous outing and they are 32-13 in their last 45 games playing on two day's rest. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six games on two day's rest.
The Penguins are 20-8 in their last 28 games following a win and 20-8 in their last 28 games after allowing two goals or less in their previous outing. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last six games playing on two day's rest.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team has won 15 of the last 20 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last four meetings in Pittsburgh.
San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5 Prediction
The Sharks are obviously in over their head in this series against the faster skating Penguins and I do not see things turning around on the road this Wednesday night. You know that Pittsburgh does not want to make another long trip to the West Coast so look for the home team to take care of business in this one.