With a game in hand, Colorado is well-positioned to determine its destiny down the stretch of the regular season. The Avalanche will play five of their final six regular-season games against the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings with its lone other game during that span coming versus the division-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Colorado trails vegas in the Honda West race by just two points after going 34-12-4 with 72 points in 50 games. Meanwhile, the Sharks are 20-26-6 with 46 points in 52 games but have stumbled to the finish line with 11 losses in their last 13 games.
Can Colorado take care of business on the road against the hapless Sharks on Wednesday night?
Grubauer leads the AvalancheColorado escaped with an important 5-4 overtime win for their third straight win against the Sharks on Monday. The Avalanche scored three third-period goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit before Andre Burakovsky finished the comeback off with the game-winner just 41 seconds into the overtime session. Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin, Gabriel Landeskog, and Kazem Kadri all scored goals on the night. Goaltender Phillip Grubauer stopped 23 of 27 shots while Nathan MacKinnon chipped in two assists in the win.
The Avalanche will have an interesting decision to make during the offseason. With the NHL set for an expansion draft, the Avalanche could be one of the teams most at risk. Colorado will be able to protect its core under NHL rules but the likes of J.T. Compher, Nichushkin, and Kiefer Sherwood could be left unprotected, according to the Denver Post.
Backup goaltender Devan Dubnyk recently came down with a case of COVID-19 and will need to quarantine from the team for two weeks. Presumably, that means the Avalanche will have Grubauer back between the pipes for Wednesday night’s contest at the SAP Center. The 29-year-old has put together a Vezina Trophy-worthy season, going 27-8-1 with a 2.00 GAA and .920 save percentage so far this season. Grubauer has been tough to beat at home, winning 18 of his 23 (18-4-1) starts at the Pepsi Center with a 1.67 GAA and .933 save percentage. He’s also been up to the task in six games against San Jose this season. Grubauer is 5-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .921 save percentage in those matchups.
Kane comes up big in the Shrarks' lossSan Jose was unable to get back on the winning track on Monday, falling short 5-4 in overtime against the Avalanche. Evander Kane scored twice, while Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier added goals for the Sharks, who carried a 3-1 advantage into the third period but were unable to withstand a furious Avalanche rally. Martin Jones allowed five goals on 31 shots for San Jose in the loss.
One day after his two-goal performance, Kane found himself in a sticky situation. The Sharks’ forward is facing a $15 million lawsuit for defrauding a financial lender, according to The Athletic. Professional Bank is claiming in court that Kane defaulted on a $1.5 million loan that he received against his seven-year, $49 million contract with the Sharks in 2019.
The Sharks are scheduled to send 23-year-old rookie Josef Korenar to tend to the twin in the final game of their series with the Avalanche on Wednesday. He comes in with a 2-4-0 overall record to go along with a 3.21 GAA and .896 save percentage in eight games (five starts) so far this season. Korenar made a career-high 40 saves in his last start against Colorado but it wasn’t enough in a 4-3 loss. He is 2-2-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .887 save percentage in five home starts.
- Avalanche are 21-6 in their last 27 vs. West.
- Avalanche are 39-13 in their last 52 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Sharks are 16-36 in their last 52 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Sharks are 7-17 in their last 24 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Sharks are 2-5 in their last 7 home games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
These two teams are only projected for six goals in this matchup and they’ve eclipsed that number in each of their last two meetings. After watching Colorado’s spirited third-period comeback on Monday, I’m expecting the Avalanche to start strong with a much more concerted effort in this game. The Sharks have been tanking towards the bottom of the league standings by losing 11 of their last 13 games but their offense has picked up some of the slack as of late, scoring three goals or more in five of their last six contests. That should be more than enough to push this game over the total here. Take the over in this Honda West clash at the SAP Center on Wednesday evening.
Full-Game Total Pick
The first game on Monday went well over the total and so did the one on May 1. The Sharks are really struggling defensively, which is why they are in the situation of being eliminated from playoff contention. At this point, they can play younger players and with less pressure. San Jose has gone over in six of their last seven games and offensively, they've scored 3 or more goals in five of their last six games.