NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Sharks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Sharks article feature image

Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Marchessault

  • The Sharks, who recently ended a nine-game skid, host the Golden Knights on Thursday.
  • Will San Jose go back to its losing ways? Or is there value in backing the underdog?
  • Ryan Dadoun breaks it down and shares his best bet below.

Golden Knights vs. Sharks Odds

Golden Knights Odds-182
Sharks Odds+150
Over/Under6.5 (-115/-105)
Time10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

It took James Reimer posting a 41-save shutout to end San Jose's nine-game losing streak. After that great Tuesday performance, will the Sharks simply return to their losing ways versus Vegas or will they manage to go on just their fourth winning streak of the campaign?

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Vegas Golden Knights

While the Sharks have nothing but pride left to fight for, Vegas' hold on the Pacific Division title is tenuous, so the squad needs every point it can get. The Golden Knights have won 11 of their past 14 contests and a big part of that has been the offense tallying 3.79 goals per game in that span.

Jonathan Marchessault is red hot and has tallied nine goals and 16 points over his past 13 contests. He's now just four markers away from matching his career high of 30. Jack Eichel has been another key contributor with four goals and eight points over his past five appearances and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has collected nine assists in that span.

The Golden Knights will be counting on that trio even more than usual because they're projected to have some key absences in Reilly Smith (lower body), who has missed Vegas' past two contests, but recorded four goals and 11 points over 10 outings prior to that, and defenseman Shea Theodore, who provided four helpers over the past five games.

Vegas also can't count on solid goaltending. Adin Hill (lower body), Robin Lehner (hip) and Logan Thompson (lower body) aren't expected to be available. For a while, Jonathan Quick served as a solid stopgap, but he's 2-2-0 with a 4.80 GAA and an .864 save percentage over his past five outings. Perhaps the Golden Knights will turn to Laurent Brossoit, who does have a favorable 2.42 GAA and a .924 save percentage, but has only logged five NHL games this season.

San Jose Sharks

The silver lining for Vegas is that San Jose is its opponent. The Sharks are hovering around the NHL basement with a 20-39-15 record. However, unlike some of the other low-level teams, San Jose isn't hurting for star power.

The Sharks traded away one of their top forwards in Timo Meier, but they still have Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, who have provided 61 and 58 points, respectively. San Jose also has Erik Karlsson, who is a Norris Trophy contender with 22 goals and 91 points, while averaging 25:46 of ice time across 74 contests. However, there's not much beyond that, especially with Alexander Barabanov (lower body) questionable for the contest.

Meanwhile, San Jose's goaltending is a big question mark. Reimer did just post that 41-save shutout, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him start again Thursday. However, he's 11-18-8 with a 3.31 GAA and an .895 save percentage in 38 appearances this season, so he typically isn't much help.

It's also risky to count on his perfect game marking the start of a hot streak. Reimer earned a shutout over Seattle on Feb. 20, but followed that up by allowing six goals on 31 shots versus Nashville on Feb. 23. Of course, it's not like Kaapo Kahkonen with his 3.89 GAA and .878 save percentage is a better option. The Sharks are rolling the dice no matter who they put in net.

Golden Knights vs. Sharks Pick

Vegas is being treated as the heavy favorite, which makes sense. Even if both teams have goaltending issues, the Golden Knights have a far deeper forward group. The game is in San Jose, but the Sharks are just 7-20-10 at home while Vegas is 24-7-5 on the road.

Under other circumstances, I would give serious weight to the over, but with the number of injured offensive threats between these teams, I don't feel like it's a good enough bet.

Instead, I'm going to recommend taking Vegas on the puck line (the spread is 1.5 goals in favor of San Jose). There's always the chance someone will step up and be a hero for the Sharks, but on most occasions, Vegas should win this match by a clean margin.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights Puck Line | Play to +125

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