San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers Game 5 Preview
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 10:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on the San Jose Sharks (+1.5)
For the third-consecutive meeting, the first-round playoff series between the Edmonton Oilers and the San Jose Sharks went to a shutout decision. This time around, though, it was the Sharks who came out on top with a blistering 7-0 victory on Tuesday to even the series at two games apiece.
Goalie Martin Jones made 23 saves for his fourth-career playoff shutout, but the night really belonged to San Jose’s revitalized offense. The Sharks, who were blanked by the Oilers in Games 2 and 3, came out strong with two quick goals in the first period and piled on four more goals in the second frame to never give Edmonton a decent chance at a comeback.
Last season’s playoff standouts for San Jose certainly looked like their imposing selves from the previous campaign. Both Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski found the back of the net twice in Game 4, while defenseman Brent Burns dished out three assists. Pavelski, who had an NHL-best 14 goals in the postseason last year, must sustain his stellar form in the playoffs if he and his team truly want to recapture the series lead.
Another telling statistic where San Jose’s playoff pedigree trumps that of Edmonton’s is in dead-puck situations. The Sharks won the faceoff battle in all four games thus far, and having the edge in these 50-50 opportunities has gone a long way towards stifling the Oilers’ younger and supposedly speedier offense.
Betting on the Edmonton Oilers (-1.5)
There’s no worst time than now for the Edmonton Oilers to start showing their inexperience in big games. Not only did they fail to score a goal in Game 4 and allow the Sharks to take a lead in a game for the first time this series, they’ve really come undone mainly because of a ton of mental errors.
Right wing Zack Kassian, who scored Edmonton’s game-winners in Games 2 and 3, failed to register a shot-on-goal on Tuesday and also found himself in the box with a two-minute penalty for a delay of game in the first period. And it’s not just Kassian who’s had it rough with the refs, as the Oilers committed a total of 27 minutes in penalties during Game 4 compared to just eight for San Jose.
Getting called for bone-headed decisions is what’s really killing Oilers. They’ve committed more penalties in minutes than the Sharks in each of their four games – a combined 57-26 margin at that – with right wing Leon Draisaitl’s 15-minute major for spearing and misconduct from the third period of Tuesday’s match putting the exclamation point on this glaring flaw.
Draisaitl was expected to lead Edmonton’s offensive charge alongside Conor McDavid, but he’s doing more harm than good in these playoffs. He hasn’t gotten a single point in the series yet after racking up 29 goals and 77 points during the regular season.
Speaking of McDavid, even the Oilers’ best player on the ice hasn’t been much of a factor in the playoffs at all. He came into the series with a 14-game point streak that ran as long as 16 games by Game 2, but he’s now been held point-less over his past couple of starts. Edmonton’s season has been dicatated by McDavid’s MVP-like play all season long, and him having just two shots-on-goal in each of the four games in this series is just wrong whichever way you put it.
The Sharks (+110) regain the series lead with a pivotal 4-2 win in Alberta.
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