According to The Athletic, the Islanders are one of the teams pushing hard to acquire two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019. The Islanders may need to make some concessions to land Bobrovsky, including a lucrative long-term deal with some trade protection to sweeten their offer.
Islanders get back on track with win over Sabres
New York is fresh off of a resounding 7-2 road victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and added an assist to help the Islanders cruise to victory on the strength of four third-period goals. Andrew Ladd (1G, 2A) and Scott Mayfield (0G, 3A) also finished with three points apiece, while Robin Lehner stopped 28 of the 30 shots that he faced on the night before leaving the game with 7:04 remaining in the game. Thomas Greiss finished the game in relief of Lehner and stopped all five of the shots that came his way down the stretch of the game.
— NHL (@NHL) October 19, 2018
Matthew Barzal leads the team in points with seven this season, while Filppula took over the team-lead in scoring with four total goals on the season.
The Islanders rank 18th in the NHL in scoring at 3.2 goals per game and 9th in the NHL in goals against at 2.7 per contest. New York falls in the middle of the pack on special teams though, ranking 16th in power play percentage and 18th in penalty kill percentage heading into Saturday’s contest.
Sharks shake early season struggles vs. Sabres
San Jose was pegged as one of the favorites to represent the Western Conference in the stanley Cup Finals this season, but the Sharks have gotten off to a disappointing 3-3-1 start to open the regular season. Winning the Erik Karlsson sweepstakes in the offseason has generated some added pressure for the Sharks this season and the weight of those expectations seem to be holding them back in the early going.
The Sharks are fresh off of a 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres thanks to a hat trick from Logan Couture. Joonas Donskoi and Joel Pavelski added power play goals to help put the game out of reach, while Martin Jones had one of his finest games of the season, stopping 24 of the 25 shots sent his way on the night.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 20, 2018
Five of the Sharks’ six games this season have come on the road, but their struggles go beyond just playing away from the Shark Tank. After ranking in the middle of the pack on the power play last season, San Jose had converted just 2 of their 21 opportunities (9.5 percent) prior to their victory over the Buffalo Sabres last time out. The team has missed captain Joe Thorton and their goaltending has been awful in the early going, but they are some positive signs too. The Sharks ranks 2nd in the NHL in shots per game and sixth in shots allowed per game, while also ranking as the best possession team in hockey with a Corsi percentage of 61.4 percent.
Jones is expected to be back between the pipes for the Sharks on Saturday. He comes in with a 2-3 overall record to go along with a 2.63 GAA and a .896 save percentage so far this season.
- Sharks are 6-1 in their last 7 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Sharks are 9-3 in their last 12 Saturday games.
- Islanders are 9-19 in their last 28 overall.
- Islanders are 5-12 in their last 17 games playing on 1 days rest.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
San Jose seemed to shore up some of their deficiencies in their last win over the Sabres. They scored three times on the power play and dominated the game from start to finish. Logan Couture picked the team up with a hat trick in his last game, while Jones had arguably his best game of the year between the pipes. The Islanders beat the Sharks 4-0 at home a couple of weeks ago, so look for the Sharks to get their revenge in this spot. Take San Jose at home in the Shark Tank on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pick: San Jose Sharks -230
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither Jones or Greiss have been playing particularly well this season, but Jones is fresh off of his best game of the year on Thursday and he’s been dominant at home over the past few seasons. Meanwhile, Greiss went 2-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .944 save percentage in two games against the Sharks last season. Look for this game to go over the projected total in San Jose on Saturday night.
Prediction: Over 6