The NHL is set for a pretty busy night on Tuesday night. Ten games are up on the board for January 15, which should provide plenty of excitement. One of the games will be an exciting matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. Both teams have been off to fast starts this season, which should lead to a tightly contested matchup on Tuesday night. The game is set to drop the puck at 10:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
The Penguins have jumped out to a 25-14-6 start this season, which has them sitting in third place of the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh is coming off a rough loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. The Penguins have been on a roll recently though, winning ten of their last twelve. Pittsburgh will look to bounce back with a big road victory over the Sharks on Tuesday night.
San Jose has also been doing really well so far this season. The Sharks have put up a record of 27-13-7 this season, which has earned them the second place spot in the Pacific Division. San Jose has been red hot as of late, winning six games in a row and eight of their last nine. The Sharks will look to keep it going with another win at home.
Tuesday night’s matchup between the Penguins and the Sharks will be the first of two games this season. Pittsburgh and San Jose will meet for the final time on February 21. These two teams are near the top of the NHL standings, which means that they should both play a solid game on Tuesday night. I believe that this will be the game to watch on January 15.
Last Season’s Matchups
San Jose hosted the first of two meetings between the Penguins and the Sharks last season. Conor Sheary opened up the scoring in the first period, but two unanswered goals by Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl gave San Jose the win. Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski each had two assists. Casey DeSmith turned away 34 shots for Pittsburgh, but it was not enough. Aaron Dell stopped 31 of 32 shots to give the Sharks a 2-1 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to Pittsburgh. Brent Burns and Logan Couture were both able to score on the power play, but it was not enough. Evgeni Malkin had a hat trick, while Bryan Rust scored twice and added an assist. Matt Murray had 42 shots on him and was able to make 40 saves to give the Penguins a 5-2 win in front of their home fans.
These two teams split the season series 1-1 last season. Both the Penguins and the Sharks went on to make the playoffs, but were both knocked out in the second round. These two teams are both in good position to make another playoff run this season, which should help lead to a good game on Tuesday night.
The Penguins have found a lot of success on special teams so far this season. Pittsburgh’s power play has been able to score on 25.8 percent of their opportunities. The Penguins penalty kill has done a good job as well, killing off 84.8 percent of their opponent’s power play chances. Pittsburgh will look to put up another solid performance on special teams on the road against the Sharks.
San Jose has also been a team that has found a lot of success with their special teams this season. The Sharks power play has scored on 24.6 percent of their chances. San Jose’s penalty kill has stopped opposing teams power plays 84.3 percent of the time.
Both teams have had really strong special teams this season, but Pittsburgh has a slight edge over the Sharks. The Penguins have done slightly better on both the power play and penalty kill, which they will look to use to their advantage. San Jose will look for their home fans to provide some momentum to get over this slight edge.
I believe that Matt Murray will get the start in net for the Penguins on Tuesday night. Murray has put up a save percentage of .914 and a 2.85 GAA this season. In his starts this season, Murray has a record of 13-5-1. Murray has done a solid job this season, but has had some issues with injuries. He will look to put up another solid night to try and pull off the upset against San Jose. Murray has been the better goalie in net this season and Pittsburgh will look for that to give them the necessary edge to pull off the road upset.
Martin Jones will likely get the nod in net for San Jose. Jones has a record of 21-8-4 in his games played this season. He has put up a .903 save percentage and a GAA of 2.74. Jones has not had the best save percentage, but a solid GAA because of the amount of shots the Sharks allow. San Jose has a solid defense and it will be interesting to see how it stands up to the Penguins strong offense on Tuesday night.
These two teams have been playing really well as of late, but I believe that Pittsburgh will end the Sharks winning streak on Tuesday night. The Penguins have the stronger goaltending and a slight edge over San Jose in special teams. The Sharks have done a good job slowing teams down, but I believe that after Saturday night’s loss, Pittsburgh will come out hot. This could help lead to a fast start, which I believe San Jose will not be able to come back from.
BetOnline has the Sharks listed as a -140 against the money line, which implies that they win this game around 58 percent of the time. I believe that this line should be listed closer to even. San Jose is on a long winning streak, which is bound to end at some point and with the Penguins visiting, I believe it is a prime night for the winning streak to end. I am taking Pittsburgh as a road underdog.