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NHL Playoffs Betting Pick – Sharks Look To Gain Momentum Before Heading Home For Game Three

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/13/2011 6:03:22 PM
nhl playoffs betting pick

The intensity and excitement of their decisive game seven-victory over the Detroit Red Wings may have pushed the San Jose Sharks to the limit in terms of fatigue heading into their conference final series against the Vancouver Canucks, but they will have the perfect opportunity to recover before the set shifts home for the first time. The Sharks will get two online sports betting nights off before game two gets underway, and will need to take advantage of the extra rest to gain some momentum before heading back to the California coast.

San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks

Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET

The Sharks left everything on the table in the final two games against the Red Wings, and even then felt lucky that they had managed to clinch a victory in the decisive game seven. San Jose outhit and outshot the Red Wings in front of a raucous sold-out crowd, and as the final seconds ticked down in the win there was a sense of relief as it appeared as though Patrick Marleau and company had exorcised some playoff demons. Marleau scored the game-winning goal for his first point in the series and first goal in game six or game seven playoffs games as a member of the Sharks. With Ryan Clowe still somewhat hobbled by an injury, San Jose will need Marleau to continue to step up and fill that sports betting bonus void, especially on the road.

Vancouver fans know all about their team exorcising playoff demons, as the Canucks survived a seven-game set against their rival Chicago Blackhawks before dismissing the Nashville Predators in the second round. Netminder Roberto Luongo looked strong after being pulled in consecutive losses to the Blackhawks in the opening round, and will need to continue to perform consistently to lead Vancouver into the Stanley Cup finals. The Sedin twins have been good for the Canucks in these playoffs, but nowhere near as good as Ryan Kesler has as one of the most dominant forces in the 2011 postseason. Kesler's game-winning goal against the Blackhawks will be remembered for a long time, and the way that he has performed in these playoffs has been as much about talent and skill as it has been about heart and determination.

The Canucks will want to seal game two with a win before heading on the road for the next two, and it will come down to their ability to beat Sharks' netminder Antti Niemi. Vancouver will get a ton of traffic to the net and try to weather the storm in their own end, and the final change should be crucial again as the Canucks take game two at home ahead of the 2011 Preakness Stakes betting race. The outlook will change when the series shifts to San Jose for games three and four, but in the early going it should be all Vancouver against a tired Sharks' team.

NHL Betting Pick: Vancouver Canucks

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