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Thursday, April 13, 2017

NHL : First Round Tilt in Edmonton

In the second game of a best-of-seven series, the San Jose Sharks (46-29-7) will face the Edmonton Oilers (47-26-9) at the Rogers Centre. After finishing second in the Pacific Division, and making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Oilers have the offensive power and dependable goaltending that they’ve sorely missed over the last decade. Edmonton was a symbol of consistency in 2016-17, ranking 8th in team offence (2.96 goals scored per game) and 8th in team defence (2.52 goals against per game). After pacing the NHL in points this regular season with 30 goals and 70 assists, the hockey world is eagerly anticipating Connor McDavid’s first career playoff appearance.

After coming two wins away from winning their first ever Stanley Cup last season, the San Jose Sharks have an edge in experience compared to the youth-infused Oilers. Martin Jones is one of those returning players; he won 35 games this season, but struggled with a .912 save percentage. Despite that, the Sharks managed to rank 5th in team defence during the regular season, surrendering a minuscule 2.44 goals per game. Game 2 will determine who carries momentum into San Jose.

Live odds and lines

NHL Odds: Pacific Division Foes Face Off in Edmonton

The Edmonton Oilers will attempt to defend their home ice advantage this Friday (10:30 PM ET on Sportsnet) against the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers (47-26-9) finished second in the Pacific, while the Sharks (46-29-7) finished third, but only four points behind their First Round foes.

Edmonton led the season series over the Sharks, winning three games, losing one in regular time and losing another in overtime. In the last 10 games of the season, Edmonton and San Jose seemed to be going in opposite directions: the Oilers had a record 8-2-0, while the Sharks went 4-6-0.

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