Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are coming off a tough series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, where they lost the final game of the series 6-3 despite scoring the first 3 goals in the game. The Blackhawks have been one of the surprises this season winning 13 of their first 26 games to put them in the middle of the playoff race in the Central Division. They will face a Dallas Stars team that was in the Stanley Cup Final last season but has struggled to start this season, winning only 7 of their first 20 games.

Chicago just got pummeled by the Lightning

The Blackhawks had a 3-0 lead into the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning but allowed 6 unanswered goals to lose the rubber game of the three-game series. The struggles are a reminder that the defense is improving but still a poor unit, allowing 3 goals per game. The trio of Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, and Nikita Zadorov has played well, combining for 3.5 defensive point shares but the unit has struggled on the backend, allowing for opponents to easily find the back of the net.

While the defense has struggled this season, the offense has taken off with the top two lines constantly being able to find goal scoring. Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, and Pius Suter have led the top line and combined for 33 goals this season while the second line of Dominik Kubalik, Mattias Janmark, and Philipp Kurashev has been able to combine for 23 goals this season to give the Blackhawks a potent offense with two great scoring lines.

Stars struggle to find offense

The Dallas Stars made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season with a deep scoring lineup and a dominating run from goaltender Anton Khudobin. This season, the Stars have yet to find that depth on the offensive end that helped carry them to the successful season last year. While Joe Pavelski has 12 goals on the season, the rest of the Stars offense has yet to step up with nobody else scoring more than 6 goals on the season.

While the Stars are struggling to find scoring, the defense has been playing well once again, allowing only 2.5 goals per game. Esa Lindell is leading the way with 1.8 defensive point shares and 37 blocked shots but Miro Heiskanen has established himself as one of the best young defensemen in the game as the 21-year-old has .9 defensive point shares but also 11 assists on the offensive end. Moreover, the goaltending duo of Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger has been exceptional in goal, allowing only 2.3 goals per game and saving .914 percent of shots.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Blackhawks are coming off two losses in three games and are now traveling to Dallas. While many are thinking that the Stars are poised to make a run and take advantage of the home ice, the Blackhawks give great odds as a road underdog looking to bounceback. The Blackhawks should be able to find the back of the net multiple times with their potent offense whether it be Patrick Kane or Pius Suter breaking through the Stars defense. Likewise, the Blackhawks should be able to limit a Stars offense that has struggled outside of Joe Pavelski and force someone else to beat them. Expect the Blackhawks to win this game and pull off the upset on the road.

Prediction:
Blackhawks (+118)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The Stars are led by their defense and the Blackhawks just played in three high-scoring games, making it easy to think their defense will improve. However, this game is going to be one where the floodgates open and the goals are scored at will. The Blackhawks should take advantage of a Stars defense that is good but not playing well on the backend and force Anton Khudobin to make more than enough saves. The Stars should also be able to take advantage of a struggling Blackhawks defense and be able to find the back of the net a few times in this game. Expect the Over to cover with both teams constantly scoring in this game.

Prediction:
Over 5.5