Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#55 Vancouver Canucks vs.
#56 San Jose Sharks
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10:05pm EST
SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose
Written by Ezra Amacher



#55 Vancouver
#56 San Jose


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The San Jose Sharks will try to break a six-game losing streak and earn interim head coach Bob Boughner his first win when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. San Jose fell to the New York Rangers 6-3 on Thursday in their first game since the firing of Peter DeBoer. The Sharks led 3-2 over eight minutes into the third period, but the Rangers went on to score unanswered goals to run away with the win. Despite San Jose's recent struggles, it leads the NHL in penalty-killing percentage (87.5).

Vancouver enters Saturday winners of three of its last four games and no win took as much effort as Thursday night's 1-0 overtime victory over Carolina. Elias Pettersson scored the deciding goal 40 seconds into OT, while Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom played his best game of the season, saving all 43 shots that came his way. Vancouver, who previously beat San Jose on the road 5-2 on November 2, ranks ninth in the league in scoring with 3.19 goals per game.

Vancouver looks to continue rise up standings

Vancouver's high scoring offense came to a stand still for 60 minutes and 39 seconds Thursday night against Carolina until Elias Pettersson netted an overtime goal to send everyone home. Jacob Markstrom gave a stellar effort guarding the net, and the Canucks will need more where that came from now that goaltender Thatcher Demko is on the IR with a concussion. Markstrom's last road start came against Edmonton, when he saved 28 of 30 shots in a 5-2 Vancouver win. He boasts a 2.58 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

Expect the Canucks offense to break out after being out-shot 43-26 versus Carolina. Vancouver had scored five or more goals in four of five games before its last two outings. Pettersson's overtime goal tied him with J.T. Miller for the team lead in scores (13). Miller's last goal came a week ago in a 6-5 overtime win over Buffalo. Veteran center Brandon Sutter is questionable to play as he continues to rest a groin injury. Sutter geared up to play Thursday but ended up a late scratch.

Sharks try to break losing

San Jose's first game under interim coach Bob Boughner played out much like its previous five losses. The Sharks buckled under pressure defensively and struggled to come up with enough scoring chances to keep up with New York. Leading scorer Logan Couture scored one of San Jose's goals, and the Sharks need him to stay hot Saturday. Evan Kane's scoring drought now stands at one goal in the last 13 games. Opponents have outscored San Jose 29-10 across its six-game losing streak.

The Sharks will start Aaron Dell at goaltender on Saturday. The three-year veteran has a 3.32 GAA and an .893 save percentage. Dell's last appearance resulted in him being pulled after giving up three goals in just over 19 minutes at Tampa Bay on December 7. His last win came on November 21, when he saved 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 overtime win over Las Vegas.

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Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom picked up a lot of confidence in a 43-save shutout over Carolina on Tuesday, and it should carry over to another strong performance Saturday against a struggling San Jose offense. The Sharks are averaging .67 goals during their present six-game losing streak. Vancouver, meanwhile, ranks among the top offense in the NHL. Three Canucks have 11 or more goals including 13 apiece from Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller.

Prediction: Vancouver Canucks

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Expect to see Vancouver's offense explode after being shutout for over 60 minutes its last time out. The Canucks get the advantage of facing San Jose's Aaron Dell, whose last four starts all resulted in losses. Keep in mind that the Canucks topped the Sharks 5-2 when these two teams previously squared off in San Jose a month and a half ago. The under is 7-0-1 in the Sharks' last eight following a loss of three or more goals. Moreover, the under is 6-2-1 in the Canucks' last nine games when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game.

Prediction: Over 6.5

Written By Ezra Amacher

Ezra Amacher is a professional sportswriter with a decade's worth of experience working for websites and newspapers. He enjoys meticulously analyzing matchups to give readers just what they need to know. Ezra has now brought his talents to us here at StatSalt. He currently resides in the Las Vegas area.