The 2019 Western Conference Finalists will be decided on Tuesday night when the San Jose Sharks host the Colorado Avalanche for a Game 7 decider
The conference semifinal round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs ends with a Game 7, as it should, on Wednesday as the Colorado Avalanche visit the San Jose Sharks. At SugarHouse sportsbook, the Sharks are -141 favorites with the Avs at +116 and the total set at 5.5.
The winner will face either the Blues or Stars in the Western Conference Finals. San Jose would have home-ice advantage against either, but the Avs wouldn’t. Game 7 of Stars-Blues was Tuesday in St. Louis and we predicted a Blues victory.
Colorado forced this winner-take-all with a 4-3 home overtime win on Monday; the Avs were -130 favorites and the total was 5.5. It was the third time in this series seven goals were scored. Gabriel Landeskog’s third goal of this postseason at 2:32 of overtime was the winner.
Landeskog was the fifth different player in franchise history (including Quebec days) to score an overtime goal in an elimination game and first since Joe Sakic in Game 5 of the 2004. Landeskog was the No. 1 star, and J.T. Compher the No. 2 with two goals and an assist. It was the third time in these playoffs an Avs player had had a three-point game, most of any team. Philipp Grubauer stopped 19 of 22 shots.
The Avalanche are now 3-0 in overtime(s) in the 2019 playoffs. They had just three wins all regular season in 15 games that ended in overtime. Colorado is 6-7 all-time in Game 7s, including 2-4 on the road. The last two times the Avs forced a Game 7 down 3-2, they won it (last in 2002).
Monday was a truly fabulous game, with the Sharks three times rallying from one-goal deficits. In fact, Colorado became the 11th team in NHL history to stave off elimination despite surrendering three or more separate leads. San Jose tied it at 17:32 of the third on Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s third of the playoffs and second of the game. Vlasic entered with four career playoff goals in 134 playoff games and had just three goals in the 2018-19 regular season.
Martin Jones allowed all four goals on 26 shots, the first time in four games that Jones has allowed more than two goals. Wednesday will be the 12th all-time Game 7 for the Sharks, who are 7-4 overall and 4-1 at home. It’s the second time the Avalanche and Sharks have played against one another in one, with Colorado winning 1-0 in the 2002 conference semifinals on a Peter Forsberg goal.
The Sharks could get a huge boost Wednesday with the return of top center Joe Pavelski. He has yet to play in this series following a likely concussion suffered in Game 7 of the first round against Vegas but did feel well enough to travel to Denver in Game 6 and has been skating. Pavelski had 38 goals and 26 assists during 75 regular-season games and two goals and two assists in the first round vs. the Golden Knights.
Home teams generally win Games 7s in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Avs are just 4-24 in their past 28 trips to San Jose. Sharks prevail 4-3.