Just when everybody was ready to bury the Nashville Predators, they prevail with a convincing Game 3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Nashville can even up the series at two games apiece with another superb performance at home this Thursday, but it still has to be wary of the road-tested Sharks’ retaliation.
Will the Preds sing another happy tune in Music City that night, or will San Jose be one game closer to advancing to the Western Conference Finals? Let’s run down what this marquee duel has in store for us below. And for another heated clash out in the Midwest, check out our Game 4 preview for Dallas vs. St. Louis right after this.
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Sharks vs. Predators Game 4 Preview
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
When: Thursday, May 5, 9:00 PM ET
Line: San Jose Sharks (-105) vs. Nashville Predators (-115) – view all NHL lines
TV Broadcast: CNBC
Betting on the San Jose Sharks
Have the San Jose Sharks finally met the team that can prove to be troublesome for them away from home? With a 4-1 loss in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Sharks suffered their first road defeat since March 17 during the regular season, and are now also 5-4 lifetime in Game 3s after securing a 2-0 series lead.
What’s got to be more concerning for the Sharks is how their supposedly potent man-advantage attack was totally shut down. They went scoreless in four power play opportunities Game 3, and that’s considering that that Predators have given up six power play goals in the 18 times that they’ve been short-handed in the playoffs.
Furthermore, an off-night from goalie Martin Jones – four goals allowed in a contest for the first time in this postseason – has got to raise a red flag. Will we see James Reimer make his first start of this year’s playoffs on Thursday?
Still, the oddsmakers remain high on San Jose, as the team is still the -380 favorite to win this series. Plus, we can’t ignore the fact that the Sharks are fantastic away from The Bay, having lost just one road game in their last 10 prior to the defeat in Game 3.
Even better, the Sharks have also gone 4-2 against the Predators in the playoffs at Nashville prior to this series – in the 2006 and 2007 seasons – and they won both of those series in just five games.
Betting on the Nashville Predators
A four-goal demolition on home ice of San Jose was just what the Nashville Predators needed to get back into this series.
Team captain Shea Weber finally scored his first goal of the series during the second period of the contest – a go-ahead goal to put the Preds in the lead the rest of the way. Weber is now tied for the most postseason goals in franchise history.
Apart from having its best player get on the scoreboard, Nashville’s attack in general has elevated itself to where it should be this time of year. After going just 2-for-31 on power play through the first nine playoff games, the team went 2-for-5 with the man-advantage in Game 3 thanks to crucial scores from key forwards James Neal and Filip Forsberg.
Not only that, but the Predators also kept up their aggression from Game 2, outhitting the Sharks on Tuesday, 37-26, and winning the faceoff battle as well, 35-26.
However, and even after that impressive victory, Nashville still has the worst odds among the four teams in the West at winning the conference (+850). Well, the team has gone just an even 5-5 at home against San Jose in their last 10 meetings, for one.
Perhaps the most worrying statistic working against the Predators is that they’re a disappointing 1-6 over their last seven Game 4s held at Bridgestone Arena, including defeats in five of the most recent tries. But for as long as they replicate their high level of play from Tuesday in Game 4, they’ll be giving the Sharks a lot to think and doubt about heading into the Crucial Game 5 showdown back in the Bay Area.
San Jose (-105) crushes Nashville’s playoff hopes after a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory.
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