The sad and tragic Anaheim Ducks (44-25-13, 2nd Pacific) come North to meet their fates against our San Jose Sharks (45-27-10, 3rd Pacific). Up 2-0 in the series after a dominant 3-0 win on Thursday and a less dominant 3-2 win on Saturday, the Sharks return home in the best of all possible worlds. In all honesty, it's hard to say whether the 2-0 lead San Jose holds over Anaheim, or the 3-0 lead the Vegas Golden Knights hold over the Los Angeles Kings is more exciting. While the Kings are pretty much finished (o joyous day), this series is far from over.
Historically, teams that lead a playoff series 2-0 hold a 70-19 record, meaning that a couple of these 2-0 first round series leads are guaranteed to feature rousing comebacks, because that's how statistics work. The Ducks are unfortunately well experienced in these comebacks, after they beat the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the second round last year after dropping the first two games at home.
However, the Sharks have won the first two games of a series on the road three times in franchise history, and have gone on to win all three of those series. If past success is the best predictor of future success, then we still have no idea what will happen, but it's unlikely that the Ducks can win four out of the next five, especially if Corey Perry keeps trying to commit murders.
Martin Jones has been the unsung (and sung) hero of the match up so far. Despite a series of almost definitely physically impossible saves by John Gibson to keep the Ducks in Game 2, Jones has been more than up to the task so far, a trait we've come to expect from the taciturn, borderline sociopathic netminder. Jones' 16-14 record, absurd .925 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average in 30 playoff games has been bouyed by his .964 and 1.00, respectively, so far this series. If he can even come close to continuing that kind of dominance, Gibson and his showy and athletic, but ultimately insufficient .913 and 3.05 will have to head home sooner rather than later.
This is a
must win very important game for Anaheim, it's as close to Game 7 as they're likely to get this year, so the Sharks should expect a serious push back. If our boys can continue to out skate, out shoot, and out not-commit-very-stupid-penalties-with-three-minutes-left-in-a-one-goal-game their guests, the Ducks will be all but cooked.
Evander Kane -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Joakim Ryan, Joel Ward, Jannik Hansen, Dylan Gambrell, Barclay Goodrow, Antoine Bibeau
Injured: Joe Thornton (knee)
Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Ondrej Kase
Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie -- Adam Henrique -- Corey Perry
Jason Chimera -- Derek Grant -- J.T. Brown
Josh Manson -- Hampus Lindholm
Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour
Marcus Pettersson -- Andy Welinski
Scratched: Antoine Vermette, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Kelly, Troy Terry, Korbinian Holzer
Injured: Cam Fowler (shoulder), Patrick Eaves (illness)
Where to watch
Broadcast: CNBC, SN1, TVAS2, NBCSCA, PRIME
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App