Being one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the Western Conference leaders San Jose Sharks
(6-1-0) are looking for nothing else than a win tonight in Florida, against the only winless team in consecutive games
in the National Hockey League this season. Livetipsportal.com provides you the key informations for this game to help your choice.
The Florida Panthers
(3-3-0) have traded wins and losses since the start of the season, and are coming from wednesday's 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. They are also on a six games loosing streak
against the Sharks, and their last win over San Jose was on February 9th, 2000.
With no real #1 center since they traded Olli Jokinen to Phoenix, the Panthers offense is struggling
, with only 2.50 goals scored per game, tied for 21st in the league. On their side, the Sharks are dominant
, being tied for 4th with 3.43 goals per game. They are well served by captain Patrick Marleau (4 goals and 4 assists), assistant captain Joe Thornton (0G 6A), sniper Jonathan Cheechoo (4G 2A) or the good start of Devin Setoguchi (4G 3A).
In defense, the Sharks also get the edge
over the Panthers, being ranked 9th in the league with 2.57 goals allowed per game, while the Panthers are tied for 17th with 3.00 GAA. Despite the solid efforts shown by Jay Bouwmeester, the Panthers defense isn't impressive, and the injury to Bryan McCabe clearly doesn't help the team. The Sharks defense is globaly bigger, tougher, faster and more skilled.
On the special units front, San Jose has a way better powerplay than the Panthers, being ranked 16th with 16.2%, while Florida is struggling with the man advantage
, being ranked only 26th with a horrible 11.1%. However, both teams are having difficulties on the penalty kill, with only 79.3% for the Sharks (19th) and 78.6% for the Panthers (21st).
San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov has had difficulties lately, going 2-1-0 with a 4.51 goals against average in his last three starts, after opening the season 3-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA. He has been solid against the Panthers though, posting a 1.75 GAA and one shutout to win his last four starts against them. Florida's goalie Thomas Vokoun, who played for the Nashville Predators from 1998 to 2007, has a 9-1-1 record against San Jose, along with a 2.28 GAA and one shutout.
Another aspect that may be decisive is that the Sharks are leading the league in the faceoff circle
with 56.4% of faceoffs won, which allows them a great puck possession to generate offense. The Panthers are doing an okay job, ranked 13th at 51.1%.
And last but not least, San Jose is generally outshooting opponents by a wide margin
, taking 34.9 shots per game (2nd) and allowing only 23.1 shots on their goalie (2nd). Panthers are also shooting a lot (31.8 S/G; 5th), but allow way too many shots to their opponents (33.0 SA/G; 28th).
Considering all those facts, it's highly recommanded to bet on the San Jose Sharks
. The best odd for this bet is an interesting 2.15 at Betsson.