The Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks are set up for a critical Game 5 on Saturday night. There isn’t a real powerhouse team remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and both teams feel like they have a shot. The winner of this game will take a 3-2 series lead after the two teams have split the first four games of this series.
San Jose blew a chance to take a 3-1 series lead over the Avalanche with a dreadful performance in Game 4 of the series. The Sharks have been dominant in their two wins in this series, but they have lacked consistency. Colorado should come into this game with a ton of momentum after shutting out the Sharks in their Game 4 win. The Avalanche already have three road wins in these playoffs. San Jose is -125 over the Avalanche in this game.
Sharks Must Find Offense
The San Jose Sharks were the second-highest scoring team in the NHL during the regular season, but their offense didn’t show up in Game 4. San Jose managed to get 32 shots on goal, but none of them found the back of the net. Center Logan Couture has been the main man on offense for the Sharks so far in the playoffs, leading the team with nine goals and 12 points. The Sharks offense has looked great at home, and they will need another great performance.
Goaltender Martin Jones struggled at times during the first round but has been much better so far against the Avalanche. Jones is stopping just 91 percent of the shots he has faced in the playoffs, but he did all he could to keep his team in the Game 4 loss. The Avalanche just need their goalie to be good enough while their offense gets going.
MacKinnon on Fire For Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon had plenty of hype when he came into the NHL, and he has been a star for the Avalanche in the playoffs. MacKinnon scored his sixth goal of the playoffs in the Game 4 win and also leads the Avalanche with 12 points. Colorado was also a top-10 scoring team during the regular season, and they can be dangerous when they get all four lines rolling. The Avalanche will try to use their speed to take control of Game 5.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer has been terrific all postseason for the Avalanche, but he stole the show in Game 4. Grubauer was able to notch his first career postseason shutout in that game and has posted a 6-3 record so far in these playoffs. The Avalanche were not great at shutting down opponents during the regular season, but it has carried them so far in the playoffs.
San Jose Wins Critical Game
The winner of Game 5 in a series tied 2-2 usually win the series, and the Sharks have a big advantage of playing at home in this game. San Jose didn’t play well at all in Game 4, but look for them to make adjustments in this one. Colorado will keep this game close, but the Sharks will prevail. Bet the San Jose Sharks -125 over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 of this series.
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