|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NHLAs the San Jose Sharks come into tonight's game game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they will be looking to their strong defense to get them through the game. The Sharks have been enjoying a tremendously effective defensive game that has held all of their opponents during the second half of the season to less than three goals per game.
The Sharks are also on a hot streak, winning 13 of their last 16 games. If they can beat the Penguins Wednesday night, they will tie a season-high winning streak of five games. The Sharks currently have a record of 33-21-6, which is a marked improvement over the first half of their season, where they posted a mediocre 21-19-5 and were 10th in the Western Conference.
In fact, San Jose was in danger of not even making it to the NHL playoffs this year with their 10th place performance. But they have turned the organization around, going 13-2-1. The current winning streak is mainly based on their defense, which has given up only 1.81 goals over the last 16 matchups. The Sharks have improved to be in the top four teams in the West at this point.
The Penguins are also in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, but are starting to struggle. The loss of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is starting to wear on the Penguins, who have put up just 14 points in the last 8 games. Pittsburgh is hoping a recent trade for James Neal will help them out of their current scoring slump. A 1-0 loss to Washington showed just how lacking the Penguins are in offense.
The history of the Penguins-Sharks matchup is all Sharks. Pittsburgh has not scored more than two points against San Jose in the seven games they have played since December 2002. San Jose leads the series 6-0-1. Sportsbook odds list the San Jose Sharks as the -1.5 favorites to win tonight.