Penguins-Sharks Series Preview

Penguins-Sharks Series Preview

After a much-needed respite, Pittsburgh and San Jose return to the ice Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. Which side will own the upper hand when the action begins?

Oddsmakers favor the organization with at least a modicum of experience in such a setting. Online sports book currently gives the Penguins odds of -140 to claim their fourth title. The Sharks, conversely, enter as +120 underdogs.

Bet on the Stanley Cup Final

Mike Sullivan’s Pens hold home-ice advantage on the basis of placing second in the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division during the regular season. San Jose only finished third in the Pacific Division, but the playoffs have showcased an entirely different-looking group from the West Coast. These two teams last met on Dec. 1, with Evgeni Malkin’s three-point evening powering a 3-1 Pittsburgh victory.

Of course, Sullivan didn’t even patrol the bench at that time. It was only when he replaced Mike Johnston shortly before Christmas that Sidney Crosby and company truly took flight. Following a 12-4-0 March, the Penguins dispatched the Rangers, Capitals and Lightning to claim the East for the first time since 2009.

NHL Quick Links: Free Matchup Reports | Injuries | Odds Comparison | Scoreboard | Betting Trends

The Sharks ran through a similar gauntlet on the other side of the bracket, outlasting archrival Los Angeles, Nashville and St. Louis. Captain Joe Pavelski’s 13 goals lead all skaters, and four of those came against the Blues. Meanwhile, Logan Couture paces the pick with 22 points.

Where San Jose probably boasts more punch on the blue line (Norris Trophy finalist Brent Burns alone has 14 assists in 18 contests, the Pens’ second- and third-line forwards arguably possess greater scoring touch and general playmaking ability. With the respective goaltending situations also looking all but even, this shapes up as a lengthy, fascinating series. Ultimately, however, we just can’t recommend a club making its inaugural trip to hockey’s most hallowed stage.


Want More Picks, Predictions & Odds From The Follow on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!

Recent NHL Discussions

How many more are like this on Wed, Mar 2021 by Surfer
Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Sabres vs. Red Wings Prediction & Odds The struggling Sabres will look to right the ship on Wednesday night when they visit the Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET. Is the total for tonight’s game set too...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Bruins Prediction & Odds With eight victories over their last 10 games, the Bruins remain the best and hottest team in the NHL and are also a perfect 12-0...
Thumbnail Stars vs. Blues Prediction & Odds The Stars and Blues will meet in St. Louis on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. ET and given the lack of scoring in previous meetings between the two teams, is the under...
Thumbnail Canucks vs. Sharks Prediction & Odds The Canucks and Sharks square off at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday night and with both teams struggling, where is the value when it comes to...
Thumbnail Stars vs. Avalanche Prediction & Odds Could the defending Stanley Cup champs be tested on Saturday night when the Avalanche host the Stars at 9:00 p.m. ET?

NHL Headlines