Friday, October 5 at 10:30 PM ET
Two Pacific Division teams clash when the San Jose Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks are coming off a tough 5-2 home loss to the Ducks while the Kings will be playing their first game of the season. The Sharks went 3-1 against the Kings last year.
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are usually strong at home but they opened the season with a 5-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks at SAP Center last Wednesday. outshot the Ducks 33-14 but just couldn't get much past John Gibson. Anaheim was a bit short-handed but they were much more effective. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose in the setback. The game was tied 2-2 with 12 minutes to play but the Ducks went on a scoring binge to put the game away late. The Sharks have now lost three straight games dating back to last year's playoffs.
The Sharks are averaging 2.0 goals per game (14th in the league) and they have a 0.0 power play percentage (14th) and a 33.3 penalty kill percentage (25th). Evander Kane leads the team with one point and one goal and Justin Braun has one assist. Martin Jones has a 4.07 GAA with a .714 save percentage.
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings were swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of last year's playoffs, getting outscored 10-3. Their offense clearly didn't show up in those four games despite averaging 2.89 goals per game in the regular season (12th in the NHL) and the team was a bit quiet in the offseason.
The only notable signing was free agent left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, who has not played in the NHL since the 2012-13 season. Kovalchuk was outstanding in the league though, scoring 417 goals in 11 seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils and he scored 120 goals in five years with SKA Saint Petersburg, so he will give balance on offense.
The San Jose Sharks are:
16-7 in their last 23 games following a loss of three or more goals
52-24-1 in their last 77 games following a home loss of three or more goals
9-1 in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles
4-1 in the last five meetings with the Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are:
4-10 in their last 14 games when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game
0-5 in their last five games against Western Conference opponents
I like the Sharks in the first period, they're coming off a bad home loss against the Ducks and they will look to get off to a fast start. The Kings are at home, playing in their first game of the season but the road team is 5-1 in the last six meetings and Dustin Brown, who had 28 goals last year, is out indefinitely with a broken finger and they will really miss him tonight.
NHL Pick: Sharks first period -115 at Jazz Sports
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Odds as seen on ESPN Chalk: