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NHL Playoffs Red Wings at Sharks

April 30, 2007

NHL Playoffs Game 3 - Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks (-140, 5) 10:00 ET

San Jose heads home to one of the noisier buildings in the NHL knowing full well there playoff fate rests in there hands with the series tied at one apiece.

Joe Thornton of the SharksThe Sharks were within twenty minutes of 2-0 lead, however Detroit stepped up the pressure and delivered two goals to come away the victors as -160 home favorites.

With San Jose back in the comforts of the raucous Shark Tank, they ought to be ready to play. The Sharks have won 9 of last 11 at home (+5.5 units) with only two overtime decisions coming up negative.

Coach Ron Wilson believes last year's disappointment in the post-season has been alleviated, with greater depth and better overall work ethic. Like any coach he understands what lies ahead even playing at home. 

"We got a split in Detroit, we totally limited their offense, and we were so close to scoring the third goal (in Game 2) it was unbelievable," Wilson said. 'You're not going to keep them off the board long, and we know they'll be better. We have to be better."

Not surprisingly Joe Thornton leads the Sharks attack with nine points in the Stanley Cup playoffs and he needs to help get the power play back on track before it is too late. With this past Saturday's 0-6 performance, San Jose is now 3-37 in the postseason in man advantage situations. The third game of the series has been the Sharks time to go for the kill with 10-2 mark in playoff hockey.

Detroit had to feel a sense of relief after being outplayed for the most part in both home games. "The experience factor was important,' said Dan Cleary, who has been most consistent player in postseason for Red Wings 'The guys have good composure and we don't panic."

Detroit is 1-3 at San Jose the last two years, yet might have stumbled across a winning formula. The Red Wings had just 22 shots in the second contest compared to 34 in the opener. The difference was they forced the puck into the interior of the Sharks defense, realizing far better quality shots then firing away on the perimeter. This could become an important point as the series wears on.

Detroit is 16-5 ATS in road games after a close win by 1 goal in their previous game.

San Jose opens as a -140 home selection at sportsbook.com with a total of five. With this being the final game of the month, the Sharks are scintillating 20-6 ATS in April games over the last two seasons.

Only one real potential downside for the home favorite and that is they are 0-5 ATS in home games against good defensive teams - allowing 2.55 goals a game or less in the 2nd half this season.

Discuss this playoff matchup and post your picks in the NHL hockey betting forum.


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