NHL Hockey: San Jose Sharks vs Vegas Golden Knights Preview, Odds and Prediction - 04/21/2021

by Big Al Staff

NHL Wednesday NBC Sports Network Preview: San Jose versus Vegas.

Updated at 1:30 PM ET.

The San Jose Sharks visit the Vegas Golden Knights on the NBC Sports Network at 9:30 PM ET in a rematch of their shootout thriller on Monday.

Vegas won their seventh straight game with Alex Tuch’s shootout goal that delivered them the victory in tighter T-Mobile Arena. Captain Mark Stone scored two power-play goals to rally the Golden Knights from their two-goal deficit. Robin Lehner made 29 saves to continue his 8-0-1 mark since his return from Injured Reserve on March 19th.

Peter DeBoer’s team is in first place in the West Division with 66 points. Vegas is two points ahead of Colorado, although the Avalanche have two games in hand remaining on their regular-season schedule. 

The Golden Knights acquired Mattias Janmark from Chicago at the trade deadline. The versatile forward with experience at center and wing provides the team depth. He has been playing on the third line anchored by Tuch.

Stone leads the team at right wing with 52 points coming from 17 goals and 35 assists. Left wing Max Pacioretty adds 22 goals and 23 assists. Defenseman Shea Theodore is third on the team with 36 goals from his six goals and 30 assists. 

DeBoer will likely turn to Marc-Andre Fleury as his starting goaltender tonight. He has rotated starts between Fleury and Lehner for 14 straight games since Fleury started twice in a row in March in their two-game showdown with Colorado. Fleury has a 20-10-0 record with a 2.09 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage. 

San Jose opened the scoring on Monday with a goal from Nikolai Knyzhov in the opening period before Noah Gregor gave his team a 2-0 lead after scoring early in the second period. Martin Jones has 38 saves in the losing effort. Patrick Marleau made NHL history by passing Gordie Howe for most games played in the NHL. 

The Sharks have lost six games in a row to fall to sixth place in the West Division. With 41 points, they are three points behind St. Louis and four points behind Arizona for fourth place and the final playoff spot in the West.  

General manager Doug Wilson looked to the future at the trade deadline by trading veterans for prospects while acquiring draft picks in exchange for some contract laundering. San Jose dealt away goaltender Devan Dubnyk, forward Stefan Noesen, and center Antti Suomela. 

Left wing Evander Kane leads the team with 36 points from 17 goals and 19 assists. Center Tomas Hertl has 13 goals and 15 assists. Defenseman Brent Burns and center Logan Couture tie for third on the team with 26 points. Burns leads San Jose with 20 assists, and Couture is second on the team with 14 goals.

Bob Boughner has decided against giving Jones his fourth straight start in goal. Instead, rookie goaltender Josef Korenar will get his second start of the season. The 23-year-old Czech has a 0-1 record with a 2.45 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in three games this season. In eight games in the AHL this season, Korenar had a 3.22 goals-against-average and a .898 save percentage.

Vegas has won seven straight encounters with the Sharks, including the six meetings with them this season. BookMaker lists the Golden Knights as a -260 money line favorite with the total set at 6.

Computer prediction:  Vegas Golden Knights 4 San Jose Sharks 1

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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