San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks (Game 3): Preview & Prediction

San Jose's Logan Couture during warmup.
Logan Couture led San Jose with 34 goals in the regular season and has helped his team take a 2-0 series lead over Anaheim with two points in the first two games. Photo by mark6mauno (flickr) [CC License].

The San Jose Sharks bring a 2-0 series lead home tonight and can put the Anaheim Ducks on the brink of elimination in Game 3 (10:30 PM ET).

After taking the first two on the road as moderate underdogs, the Sharks are the favorites at home tonight, while the over/under is at a low 5.o in what has been a tight-checking series.

Opening Odds

MONEYLINE PUCKLINE O/U GOALS
DUCKS (-255) DUCKS +1.5 (+126) OVER 5.0 (-105)
SHARKS (+215) SHARKS -1.5 (-139) UNDER 5.0 (-105)

After surrendering a goal on Anaheim’s first shot in Game 2, Martin Jones and the Sharks settled down and, just like in Game 1 (3-0), were the better team over the course of 60 minutes. Marcus Sorensen tied the score midway through the first and, five minutes later, Logan Couture gave San Jose a lead it would not surrender.

The Sharks wound up outshooting the Ducks again (35-30). Jones went onto stop 28 of the 30 shots he faced in a 3-2 win and was largely excellent after the initial softie. He now has a .964 SV% in the series, versus .913% for Anaheim’s John Gibson.

It’s hard to say that Gibson has struggled in the first two games, but Jones has certainly been the better of the two, and Anaheim’s netminder will need to be virtually flawless the rest of the way for the Ducks to come back.

Key Injuries & Absences

SHARKS DUCKS
Joe Thornton: Questionable (knee) Cam Fowler: Out (shoulder)
Barclay Goodrow: Questionable (UBI) Patrick Eaves: Out (illness)

Thornton took warmup before Game 2 but was a no-go. With San Jose jumping out to a commanding 2-0 series lead, don’t expect the 38 year old to rush back. He now has the luxury of time and bettors should assume he won’t be in the lineup tonight.

Team Stats

SHARKS STATISTIC DUCKS
45-27-10 (25-13-3 Home) REGULAR-SEASON RECORD 44-25-13 (18-15-8 Away)
 +23 GOAL DIFFERENCE (LEAGUE RANK) +10
252 GOALS FOR 235
229 GOALS AGAINST 216
 52.24% (6th) FENWICK % 47.76% (26th)
 20.7 (15th)  POWER PLAY % 17.8% (23rd)
84.8% (2nd)  PENALTY KILL % 83.2% (5th)
 .909% (T 13th) TEAM SV% .923% (T 1st)

Betting Results & Trends*

SHARKS  TREND DUCKS
Won 2 WIN/LOSS STREAK Lost 2
5-5 LAST 10 6-4
41-43 PUCKLINE RECORD 44-40
37-43-2 OVER/UNDER SPLIT 32-49-1
Push 1 OVER/UNDER STREAK Push 1

*All statistics date back to regular season.

Score Prediction

DUCKS
SHARKS 3

When Anaheim has had playoff success over the last five or so years, it’s been on the backs of their stars. While Ryan Getzlaf was excellent this year (61 pts in 56 games), it’s clear that Corey Perry has started to regress (49 pts in 71 games), and both of them have been largely invisible in the playoffs, along with leading scorer Rickard Rakell.

The trio has just one assist between them in 120 minutes of hockey.

With Fowler sidelined and Jones outplaying Gibson, Anaheim doesn’t have the defensive advantage it was expecting coming into the series.

San Jose’s big guns, on the other hand, are controlling the play and finding the back of the net. Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Evander Kane have a combined seven points and look fresher.

With Fowler sidelined and Jones outplaying Gibson, Anaheim doesn’t have the defensive advantage it was expecting coming into the series. Look for the Sharks to put the Ducks on the brink tonight in another close, low-scoring game.

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Sascha was a hockey player in his youth. He gave that up to do something much more practical: become a lawyer. He gave that up to do something much more enjoyable: write about sports. SBD's lead odds-maker/number cruncher since 2014, Sascha writes and edits about anything and everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are baseball, hockey, football, and basketball, though. In his spare time, Sascha likes watching Jeopardy with his wife, building train sets with his son, and pretending he's still an athlete, not necessarily in that order.