Any hope the San Jose Sharks had of coming back to win the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals might have been dashed on Monday with their 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Game 4. With the series shifting back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday, the stars are aligning for the Penguins to clinch a Stanley Cup at home for the first time in franchise history.
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The San Jose Sharks need a victory here in order to force a game six on Sunday night. The San Jose Sharks are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 22.5 percent of their power plays. Joe Pavelski leads San Jose with 13 goals, Logan Couture has 18 assists and Brent Burns has 72 shots on goal. Defensively, the San Jose Sharks are allowing 2.5 goals per game and are killing 80.5 percent of their power play chances. Martin Jones has allowed 49 goals on 612 shots faced and James Reimer has given up one goal on seven shots. Jones has given up seven goals in his last three games.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins can win their fourth Stanley Cup title with a victory here. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 18.4 percent of their power plays. Phil Kessel leads Pittsburgh with 10 goals, Nick Bonino has 13 assists and Sidney Crosby has 63 shots on goal. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 84.4 percent of their power play chances. Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed four goals on 32 shots faced and Matt Murray has given up 40 goals on 535 shots. Murray has given up five goals in his last three games.
Pittsburgh is a heavy favorite to win the series (-1400), and Las Vegas oddsmakers expect them to close out the series in Game 5, giving them -145 betting odds to do so. San Jose is a +125 underdog in Game 5 and a +700 underdog to win three straight games, via Bovada.lv, and they are 2-6 in their last eight road games.
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