Get ready for a West Division battle on Saturday night as the St. Louis Blues (10-8-2) square off against the San Jose Sharks (7-8-2). The Blues are reeling right now, as they are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, San Jose has alternated between wins and losses over its last five games, including a two-game split with the Blues.
If you bet online on this game, St. Louis has a moneyline of -160 while San Jose is at +140. The over/under has been set at 5½.
St. Louis has played the Sharks four times this season, winning two of the contests. San Jose was previously scheduled for a game on Thursday as well as a contest with the Blues on Friday, but both were canceled due to Sharks forward Tomas Hertl entering COVID-19 protocol.
Hertl is third among Sharks’ scoring leaders, with Logan Couture and Evander Kane leading the way. Couture has 10 goals on the season, and Kane leads the team in assists with eight.
Long-time Shark Patrick Marleau has been a complete non-factor with only one goal in what, at 41 years of age, should probably be his last year in the NHL.
For the Blues, 32-year-old veteran David Perron has really stepped up with Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) still injured. Perron is averaging a point per game this season, ranking 14th among all players in the NHL to help St. Louis beat the NHL odds most nights.
St. Louis is currently a banged-up team with eight players on the shelf. Jaden Schwartz is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, Tarasenko is out, as previously mentioned, and Colton Parayko (back) won’t play in this one.
Parayko has been one of the most valuable members of the Blues defense in past years, and his presence is needed even more this year with the loss of Alex Pietrangelo this past offseason.
For San Jose, Erik Karlsson is week-to-week with a groin injury. Injuries have been a huge problem throughout Karlsson’s career, and it’s played a massive factor in the two-time Norris winner looking like a shell of himself at 30 years old.
The talented Swede should still be in the prime of his career but has only mustered up four points in 13 games in 2021. Not good for a guy who’s been one of the most gifted offensive defensemen of this generation.
Binnington vs. Jones
With Jake Allen now in Montreal, there’s no longer a goaltending controversy in St. Louis. Jordan Binnington has started in 16 games, posting a save percentage of .914.
The 27-year-old is best known for making NHL news by stealing the show in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The then-rookie started in all 16 wins on the way to the Blues’ first-ever Stanley Cup.
It’s been a different story for Sharks starter Martin Jones, who has struggled for the third consecutive season. Jones is sporting a lackluster save percentage of .877 in 12 games. He’s expected to be in net Saturday night.
You could argue veteran netminder Devan Dubnyk gives the Sharks a better chance to win. Dubnyk has played fairly well in eight games with his new team, with a save percentage of .910.
Although St. Louis is currently battling injury problems, the Blues are a better team when they’re on the road (6-2-0). San Jose has only played at the SAP Center three times in this abbreviated season, and the Blues sport the third-worst defense, allowing an average of 3.71 goals per game.
While the Sharks are well-rested, this much off-time could also have them struggling to find their feet early in the game. When doing your NHL betting, go with the visiting Blues to break their losing streak and get the win against the Sharks.