The Sharks could only manage a split of their home games to start the the 2nd round of their postseason series with the Avalanche. Now San Jose will try to steal one back, starting with the April 30th NHL playoffs free pick at the Pepsi Center. Colorado is a -130 favorite back on their own ice, but bettors are virtually split thinking Game 3 can legitimately go either way (SJ +118).
Is San Jose Vulnerable in This One?
The Sharks blew their chance at a 2-0 start to the series after dropping a 3-4 contest on Sunday as -155 favorites. San Jose still has great potential to pull off the upset in Game 3 however as these two teams are very evenly matched. Through two games:
- Sharks have outshot Colorado 61-60 in SOG
- Sharks have 122-119 advantage in shots overall
- Sharks have 12 penalty minutes to Colorado’s 10
- Both teams have 1 PP goal
San Jose D Brent Burns has been the best player in the series so far with 3 goals and 4 assists in two games. Marcus Sorensen has also added 3 points in the series. The big liability in the April 30th NHL playoffs free pick for San Jose is Martin Jones. The SJ goaltender was yanked from 2 of 4 games to start this postseason and had just an .894 save percentage on the road during the regular season. The Avalanche scored 9 goals in two home games vs. Calgary in the 1st round so Jones better be on his heels.
Avalanche With an Obvious Edge Being at Home
Colorado’s dominance at home over the Flames in the 1st round was what propelled them to a series win after splitting the 2 games at Calgary. The Avs hope that same recipe comes to fruition on Tuesday as Round 2 shifts back to the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche outscored Calgary 9-4 in two games at the Pepsi Center and have netted at least 3 in 5 of the last 6 postseason games. Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog have combined for 7 points in the two games at San Jose, and that production should improve even more back home.
The Colorado defense is also an asset at home where G Philipp Grubauer has a GAA of just 2.56 on the season. Grubauer allowed 7 goals total at San Jose, but he held Calgary to 2 in both of the 1st round games in Denver. Grubauer did get rocked vs. San Jose at home during the regular season though, giving up 4 goals on just 14 shots, getting the hook 25:59 into the game. That contest may do nothing more than serve as extra motivation for the Avs goaltender, especially in front of a raucous crowd.
April 30th NHL Playoffs Free Pick Betting
The teams have shown to be very evenly matched through two games but between the Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi injuries for San Jose, the shakiness of Jones in goal going away, and the Sharks having to deal with the altitude and being on the road altogether you have to side with the Avalanche here.
NHL Free Pick: Colorado Avalanche -130