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 Bovada.lv 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.

STANLEY CUP FINAL FREE PICK: PENGUINS -140

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

Recent NHL Discussions

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
Loading...

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Monday NHL: Blues vs. Sharks The Blues had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Kings over the weekend but can they start a new streak on Monday night when they visit the Sharks at 9:00 p.m....
Thumbnail Devils vs. Bruins Sunday Prediction The under has been profitable when the Devils and Bruins meet either in New Jersey or Boston, which is where the teams will play tonight at 5:00 p.m. ET. Is the...
Thumbnail Flyers vs. Penguins NHL Prediction The over has been a profitable play when the Flyers and Penguins square off and the two Eastern Conference foes will do just that on Saturday afternoon when they meet...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Kings Friday Prediction The Blues have won three in a row but the last time they lost was against a Kings team that they’ll take on tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET. Will St. Louis come through for...
Thumbnail Blue Jackets vs. Stars NHL Prediction Two teams that have struggled to generate offense will meet in Dallas on Thursday night when the Stars host the Blue Jackets at 8:30 p.m. ET. With the total...

NHL Headlines