In the Stanley Cup Playoffs things can change in a hurry. The Pittsburgh Penguins put a beating on the Flyers in Game 1, 7-0, and then the Flyers came back in Game 2 to earn a 5-1 win. Wait, what, the same Flyers who looked dead in the water against the Pens in Game 1? That would be right. The Flyers must have used it as motivation to actually come out and save face after an embarrassing night in the first game.
Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that they got beat down as bad as they did? They may have lost 7-0, but they’re looking at home ice advantage in the series now. Easier said that done to keep that advantage, though. A win in Game 3 would put the Penguins in an interesting position for sure, but they’ve been here before. How can Philadelphia win the series? They must catch Matt Murray cold. That’s how they can do it.
We go to Anaheim tonight, where the Ducks who were clinging on for dear life to just reach the playoffs, ended up with home ice advantage. They drew a talented Sharks team in the first-round, who were able to jump out ahead in the series in Game 1. It wasn’t quite as bad as Flyers-Penguins Game 1, but the Ducks certainly did not have a good effort. They were outshot 34-25 and were constantly getting out hustled to the puck. The Sharks typically don’t like teams with speed, they don’t match up very well against them. Anaheim aren’t known for being a speedy team, so may have lucked out in their first-round matchup. Don’t expect the Ducks to go quietly, though. Head below for our free Sharks vs. Ducks Game 2 pick.
San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 2 Pick
Martin Jones showed up big when he was being counted on. He sent back 24 shots of the Ducks, which wasn’t the biggest workload for him, but the Sharks will take the solid performance. It was the third win in a row for the Sharks, dating back to January 21st. The Ducks were playing great hockey leading up to the playoffs, as they won five straight to easily reach the playoffs. Philadelphia did the same thing, they were hot going into the playoffs, and they laid an egg in the opening game. The Ducks are hoping that it plays out the same way for them as well.
The defence played well for the Ducks down the stretch. Over the last couple of months, they have tightened it up on defence. Their strong play improved their overall goals against average to 2.55 goals per game, 3rd in the NHL. The Ducks were hot at the end of the regular season, and the Sharks were cold, losing five of their last six games. Before the series started, this one looked like it was going to set up to be a split in Anaheim. It’s another series that should play out evenly throughout. I expect the Ducks to salvage their homestay and knot this series up today. Evander Kane was spectacular with a couple of goals in his playoff debut, but he won’t be able to save them tonight.