NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

All hail Martin Jones! Jones is the only member of the San Jose Sharks that has really shown up for the Stanley Cup Finals and it was another exceptional showing by the former Los Angeles Kings’ backup that has allowed this series to continue. The Sharks were badly outplayed by Pittsburgh once again in Game Five but a downright heroic 44 save performance by Jones allowed his team to win 4-2. Matt Murray didn’t have his best game and San Jose added an empty net goal late to produce the final margin.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Sharks are ‘back in this series’ or ‘have demonstrated their fortitude’ by getting Game Six back in San Jose. Pittsburgh played well enough to win in Game Six as they have in every game of this series. The Penguins got 46 shots on goal, the third time in five games they’ve put 40+ pucks on Jones. Pittsburgh has taken 30+ shots in four of the five games. Meanwhile, the Penguins got another strong defensive effort holding San Jose to 22 shots. They’ve given the Sharks’ offense nothing to work with during the finals and have been remarkably consistent. Their five game shots on goal against line: 26, 22, 26, 24, 22.

San Jose was also held without a power play goal for the fourth straight game making them 1-10 with the man advantage during the finals. To be fair, Pittsburgh’s offense hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive during this series nor has their power play done much. They get more benefit of the doubt, however, since they’re on the cusp of winning the Stanley Cup. It’s a sign of a championship team when they’re not playing their best but are still able to win games. Pittsburgh has thrived going with ‘Plan B’ while San Jose has not.

All Pittsburgh needs to do is play the same way they’ve done in all five previous games. If Murray returns to his usual form this series is over. The Penguins know that Jones is good enough to steal not only this game but the Stanley Cup if they let them. They’ve got enough talent and enough mental toughness not to let this happen. The 2015-2016 NHL season ends here with Pittsburgh as Stanley Cup Champions.


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