by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Blues at Sharks | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Sharks -135 Favorites
The Western Conference final is tied 2-2 thanks to a fantastic defensive effort from the Blues in Game 4, as the home team emerged with a 2-1 win as -140 favorites behind 29 saves from rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington.
St. Louis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Ivan Barbashev and Tyler Bozak before surrendering a power-play goal to San Jose’s Tomas Hertl more than halfway through the third for the final margin of victory.
The Blues proved yet again how good they are in low-scoring games, improving to 9-2 in their last 11 games when the total goes UNDER, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. They are also 8-3 in one-goal games this postseason going back to the first round against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Sharks will lean on their home-ice advantage now in Game 5 and try to turn up the offense, as they are 5-3 in their last eight games when the total goes OVER. The first three games of this series had gone OVER the total before Binnington shut down San Jose in Game 4, with the Sharks totaling only one goal combined in the first three Game 4s of the playoffs so far. The good news for San Jose is that the team outscored the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche 7-3 in winning Game 5 at home in the first two rounds before going on to take the series both times obviously.
St. Louis has been the best road team in the playoffs though with a 6-2 mark, finding a way to win at least twice away from home in each of the previous two rounds as well. The Blues earned a 4-2 victory in Game 2 as +115 road underdogs, although they lost Game 5 in the second round to the Dallas Stars 2-1 as -150 home favorites before outscoring them 6-2 in the last two to win that series.
Binnington has been at his best in the later games of each previous series while counterpart Martin Jones of the Sharks has been shaky in giving up 10 goals in the last three. Between both teams, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series three of four times.
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