Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#25 San Jose Sharks 6.5 vs.
#26 Florida Panthers -135
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 5:05pm EST
BB&T Center, Sunrise
Written by David Hess

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#25 San Jose
#26 Florida
15-16
14-14
56-46
36-46
58-40-4
47-28-7
3
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Sunday evening on the NHL ice and the Pacific Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the San Jose Sharks rumble with the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers won both meetings between these teams last year. The Sharks enter this game at 15-16 while the Panthers are 14-14.

Sharks Get Struck Down By The Lightning

The San Jose Sharks are not having a great yeat at the moment as they enter this game at just 15-16 through their first 31 games. The Sharks just played in Tampa last night and it was not a good showing at all as they were ripped by a score of 7-1. The Sharks have now lost their last three games in a row and have been outscored 14-5 in those games. Despite their struggles this year, the Sharks are still just seven points out of first in the Pacific Division. The offense continues to struggle for the Sharks as they have now averaged just 2.40 gpg over their last 10 games. The goaltending is not good enough for this team to overcome bad offense. Scoring their lone goal against the Bolts was Marc-Edouard Vlasic, which was his 5th of the year.

Absorbing the loss to the Bolts was Martin Jones (12-11, 3.24 GAA), who allowed four goals on 21 shot attempts before being replaced in favor of Aaron Dell, who allowed three goals on 17 shot attempts. Dell will get the start in this one and he has gone 3-5 with a 3.42 GAA on the year, including 3-3 with a 3.20 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 23-22 with a 3.02 GAA on the road and 8-3 with a 2.75 GAA during the month of December, plus 1-0 with a 1.65 GAA against the Panthers.The Sharks enter this game ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 2.74 gpg and 23rd in power-play conversions at 16.1% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 28th in the league in goals allowed at 3.39 gpg and 1st in penalty kill at 89.9%.

Panthers Are Trying To Turn Things Around

Recently, the Florida Panthers had a three-game winning streak, which was followed by a three-game losing streak. They have now followed that up by taking two of their last three games and will look to continue to turn things around against a struggling San Jose team in this one. The Panthers have clawed their way back to .500 on the year and they are in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division but we also note that the Cats are 13 points out of first. The Atlantic Division is the weakest in the league but still, if the playoffs started today, the Panthers would be in. Florida enters this game off a solid 4-1 home win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to put them at 8-6 here at BB&T Center for the year. Scoring in the win was Evgenii Dadonov, which was his 11th of the year, Josh Brown, which was his 2nd, Brett Connolly, which was his 13th and Mike Hoffman, which was his 11th.

Snatching up the win was Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 33 of the 34 shots that he faced to improve to 10-10 with a 3.35 GAA on the year. Getting the nod in this one will be Chris Driedger, who has gone 1-1 with a 1.53 GAA so far on the year. Driedger has played in five total games in his career and he is 1-2 with a 1.97 GAA in those games. He has never faced the Sharks. The Panthers enter this game ranked 5th in the league in scoring at 4.46 gpg and 6th in power-play conversions at 23.0% while on the defensive end of the ice, they are 29th in the league in goals allowed at 3.39 gpg and 5th in penalty kill at 85.5%.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Both teams are playing this game on no rest but the Panthers still get the edge here as they were home yesterday while the Sharks were on the road. San Jose is also lacking confidence at the moment after being blasted 14-5 in their last three games while the Panthers enter this game off a nice 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets. I also give the edge to the Panthers in the crease as Chris Driedger has looked very good in his brief NHL career, while Aaron Dell comes in at 3-5 with a 3.42 GAA on the year. This one sets up to be a Florida win all the way around.

Prediction: Florida

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams will be playing on tired legs and that should lead to a low scoring game. The Panthers have allowed 3.64 gpg here at home for the year but Driedger has been very solid in the crease in his limited NHL action and the Sharks have averaged just 2.64 gpg on the road. The Panthers will get their fair share of goals against Dell but I still don't see them going too crazy in this one, especially since they have averaged just 2.67 gpg over their last six games.  The Under is 6-2-1 in San Jose's last nine in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 days situation and that seals the deal for me.

Prediction: Over
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.