Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Dallas Stars will travel to Amalie Arena on Saturday night to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Central Division matchup. This will be the first time that these two teams will face off against one another after a few postponements have pushed their games back. The Dallas Stars (6-5-4, 16 points) are sixth in the Central Division and are in a bit of a rough stretch in their last handful of games as they are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday after allowing three goals in the third period. The Tampa Bay Lightning (13-4-1, 27 points) are second in the Central Division and are on a three-game winning streak after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Wednesday.

These teams are both playing well but are still on two completely different levels so it will be interesting as they are facing off for the first time this season. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

Keeping Solid with Pavelski

The Dallas Stars have been solid in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Joe Pavelski, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. With a handful of players listed on the injury report, there has been a need for Dallas to show off their roster depth as a whole and continue their winning ways. He leads the team in goals and points as he has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) this season and should be the early favorite for the Conn Smythe Award. In the last game against the Florida Panthers, he finished with a goal on two shot attempts in 18:13 on the ice. Pavelski has been playing like a create-a-player at this point and should be able to add some more points to his statistics by the end of the game.

Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger have played inside the goal for the Dallas Stars up to this point of the season. Khudobin has been decent this season as he is 4-4-1 with 2.35 goals percentage and a 92.806 save percentage. He had a great game against the Florida Panthers, he did not allow a goal on 43 shots in a victory. The Stars have allowed just 40 goals this season, which is the fourth fewest in the league. The defense has been solid, even as it was shortened in power plays as they allowed 11 goals on 57 attempts (80.7 kill percentage). Tampa Bay is a threat scoring the puck so this could be a defensive showing for Dallas, who is coming off a solid shutout.

Staying A-Hedman

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been solid in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of defenseman Victor Hedman, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. With a handful of players listed on the injury report, there has been a need for Tampa Bay to show off their roster depth as a whole and continue their winning ways. He leads the team in goals and assists as he has 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) this season and should be the early favorite for the Norris Award. In the last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, he finished with an assist on three shot attempts in 26:47 on the ice. Hedman is tied for second in assists out of all defensemen so it will be interesting to see if Dallas can defend him.

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the main goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season. He is in the top-six goalies in terms of goals allowed per game and save percentage. He has been great this season as he is 11-3-1 with 1.87 goals percentage and a 93.503 save percentage. He had a great game against the Carolina Hurricanes, he did not allow a goal on 25 shots in a victory. The Lightning have allowed just 39 goals this season, which is the third-fewest in the league. The defense has been solid, even as it was shortened in power plays as they allowed eight goals on 61 attempts (86.89 kill percentage). Dallas is not that big of a threat scoring the puck so this could be another great defensive showing for the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

These teams are both scoring the puck well overall this season as Dallas is 11th in the league averaging 3.07 goals per game while Tampa Bay is second averaging 3.56 goals per game. Penalty kill percentage is also crucial as with a man down, being able to toughen up is important. The Stars are 11th in the league with a 80.7 percent kill percentage while the Lightning are fourth at 86.9 percent. Dallas has been struggling in their recent stretch while Tampa Bay is dominant for an extended period of time. Go with the Lightning to win here at home.

Prediction:
Tampa Bay -182

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

These teams are below-average shooting the puck so far this season, which limits the amount of scoring potential. The Stars are 26th in the league with 28.3 shots per game while the Lightning are 16th in the league with 30.1 shots per game. Looking at the last three games is important to figure out this type of stuff and both teams have been great defensively. Dallas is allowing two goals per game while Tampa Bay is allowing 1.67 goals per game in this span, with both teams recording a shutout. The under hit in the last three Stars games while it is 3-0-1 in the last four Lightning games. All in all, go with the UNDER in this game.

Prediction:
UNDER 5.5