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Toronto vs. San Jose Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 11-15-2018

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#17 Toronto
Maple Leafs 6
#18 San Jose
Sharks -140

Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 10:35pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Toronto Maple Leafs

12 - 6

52-37
ATS
46-37
O/U
3
PPG
2
OPPG

San Jose Sharks

10 - 9

51-41
ATS
42-47
O/U
3
PPG
2
OPPG

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Toronto Maple Leafs at San Jose Sharks

When and Where: Thursday, Nov. 15, SAP Center, San Jose, Calif., 10:30 p.m. EST.

The San Jose Sharks look to run their home winning streak to five games as their six-game residency at SAP Center continues Thursday night versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Leafs’ power play clicks as road swing continues in California

Toronto (12-6-0) is playing the first of two games on back-to-back nights as it will wrap up its four-game road swing Friday night at Anaheim. The Maple Leafs have split the first two contests and are coming off a 5-1 rout of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

A power play that had come up empty on eight chances over the previous three games cashed in a season-high three times in six opportunities versus Los Angeles. Nazem Kadri, John Tavares and Mitchell Marner were at the center of the action with the man advantage as Kadri scored a pair of goals, Tavares had a goal and an assist and Marner chipped in two assists.

Tavares also had an assist on defenseman Morgan Rielly‘s goal, and Rielly’s eight tallies and 23 points lead all NHL defenseman. Toronto has won four of its last five games and is 4-3-0 since losing top center Auston Matthews suffered a shoulder injury two weeks ago.

Tavares has shouldered the burden of being Toronto’s No. 1 center well and carries a six-game point streak into this contest, totaling four goals and five assists. He also has a three-game goal-scoring run and netted nine of his team-high 11 goals on the road.

Though the Leafs are playing on back-to-back nights, there is a chance Frederik Andersen could be starting both games given his current form and the struggles of backup Garret Sparks. He turned aside 22 shots in the victory over the Kings and has yielded two or fewer goals in eight consecutive starts.

Andersen has a 1.39 goals-against average and .955 save percentage during that run and is 4-0-0 with a 0.77 GAA and .977 save percentage in his last four appearances. He split two starts against San Jose last season, getting a shootout victory at home and stopped 69 of 73 shots in the two meetings.

The Danish netminder, though, is 3-8-1 with a 2.60 GAA and .923 save percentage lifetime against the Sharks. Andersen has never won at SAP Center, going 0-6-0 with despite a 2.95 GAA and .913 save percentage in seven appearances.

Veteran center Patrick Marleau makes his second appearance in San Jose as an opponent after spending his first 19 seasons with the Sharks, who made him the second overall pick in the 1997 draft. The 39-year-old did not score in either game versus San Jose last season and has scored two of his three goals this season on the power play.

Sharks coming off impressive win over Preds

San Jose (10-6-3) was the first team to beat Nashville on the road this season, rallying for a 5-4 victory Tuesday night in a highly anticipated clash of Western Conference frontrunners.

The Sharks squandered a three-goal lead they built in the first period, allowing four straight markers in the second and early third, but Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton scored 13 seconds apart on passes from Marcus Sorensen to run their home winning streak to four games.

It was also Thornton’s 400th career goal, making him the 97th player in NHL history to reach that milestone. The 39-year-old center is one of just 11 players in league history with at least 400 goals and 1,000 assists.

Pavelski, whose 10 goals trail only Timo Meier (12) on the Sharks, has three goals and two assists in his last two games. But with Toronto’s power play having perked up, San Jose’s phenomenal penalty kill will step to the forefront in this game.

Paced by Norris Trophy winners Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, the Sharks have conceded just one power-play goal in their last 13 games spanning 32 chances. San Jose ranks second in the NHL on the penalty kill at 88.3 percent.

Martin Jones, who has been the beneficiary of San Jose’s stellar penalty kill, is expected to be in the net for the Sharks. He has started every game during the home winning streak and has helped San Jose get a point in his last seven home starts while going 6-1-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .907 save percentage at SAP Center this season.

Jones has also owned the Maple Leafs in his career, compiling a 7-0-1 record with two shutouts and a 1.46 GAA. He stopped 42 of 46 shots in the two meetings last season and lost a six-round shootout against Andersen in the most recent matchup.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

With Jones’ track record versus Toronto coupled with a team clicking at home, the Sharks are the pick here. Karlsson will be able to impart some wisdom to his teammates defensively from his days as Toronto’s division rival with Ottawa, and both him and Burns give San Jose the depth to neutralize a still-potent Maple Leafs offense without Matthews.

Prediction: Pick: Sharks -132

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

In addition to Jones’ dominance of the Maple Leafs, Andersen turned in two solid efforts versus San Jose despite Toronto being outshot 74-46 in those games. Additionally, Andersen’s current form makes this a game where three goals should be enough for either team to win.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 6 goals

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

The Sharks have not allowed a first-period goal in their last three home games and have outscored teams 12-6 in the opening 20 minutes at SAP Center. While the Maple Leafs have scored nine goals in the first period of their eight road games, they have netted just five in the seven games without Matthews. The hedge here is the Sharks clamp down and have a 1-0 lead through 20, hence the aggressive play giving the one-half goal.

Prediction: Sharks -0.5 goals (+160)

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

With both goaltenders in good form — Andersen of late and Jones versus the Leafs — the expectation is both deliver a solid effort and the Sharks find a difference on the power play.

Prediction: Pick: UNDER 1.5 goals (-110)

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

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