Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Florida Panthers will travel to the American Airlines Center on Saturday night to take on the Dallas Stars in a Central Division matchup. This will be the fourth time these two teams will face off, with the Panthers winning the latest matchup 3-2 back on Feb 25. The Florida Panthers (20-9-4, 44 points) are third in the Central Division. They are riding a three-game losing streak after dropping a road game on Thursday to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. The Dallas Stars (11-11-8, 30 points) are seventh in the Central Division. They are coming off a 4-3 home win on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
These teams are similar on the defensive side of the ice so it will be interesting to see which offense can figure out where they can attack. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.
Center of Attention
The Florida Panthers have been solid in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Aleksander Barkov, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. There are only two players on the injury report so they are relatively healthy here. He leads the team in goals and points as he has 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) this season and is doing well as of late with nine points in his last five games. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he finished with a pair of assists on two shots during his 24:06 on the ice. Barkov is questionable for this game so it’ll be interesting as he is a difference maker.
“I’m even more motivated now, especially because of sliding in the draft. I take that as a chance to grow as a person and grow as a player.”
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 26, 2021
Sergei Bobrovsky has been the main goalie for the Florida Panthers this season. He has been solid this season as he is 12-5-2 with 2.92 goals percentage and a 90.2 save percentage. He finished his last game against the Chicago Blackhawks by allowing two goals on 20 shots in a loss. The Panthers have allowed 94 goals this season, which is 15th in the league. The defense has been solid, even as it was shortened in power plays as they allowed 20 goals on 101 attempts (80.2 kill percentage). Dallas isn’t too much of a threat scoring the puck so this could be a defensive showing for Florida.
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 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) this season and should be an early contender for the Conn Smythe Award. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he finished with a goal and two assists on two shots during his 19:19 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. Oettinger has been decent this season as he is 5-2-6 with 2.28 goals percentage and a 91.2 save percentage. He finished his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning by allowing three goals on 27 shots in a win. The Stars have allowed just 80 goals this season, which is the seventh fewest in the league. The defense has been solid, even as it was shortened in power plays as they allowed 21 goals on 92 attempts (77.17 kill percentage). Florida is a threat scoring the puck so this could be a defensive showing for Dallas.
- Dallas: 7-19 in their last 26 games
- Dallas: 2-5 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest
- Florida: 35-17 in their last 52 games vs a team with a losing record
- Florida: 6-2 in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The name of the game is scoring the puck and the Panthers do it better here. They are ninth in the league scoring 3.21 goals per game while the Stars are 19th with 2.80 goals per game. Stopping teams on the power play is another big number to look at. Florida is 13th in the NHL with an 80.2 kill percentage while Dallas is 18th in the NHL with a 77.2 kill percentage. The Florida Panthers play well against lesser teams so go with them getting plus odds so go with them to win on the road here.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
Looking at the last handful of games can tell us where we should be leaning in this wager. The Panthers are averaging 4.2 total goals per game in their last five outings while the Stars are averaging five goals in the same stretch. These teams are great-to-average allowing shots on their goalie as Florida is 17th with 30.1 shots against while Dallas is third allowing 27 shots. The under has hit in the last four games for the Panthers against teams with a losing record while it also hit in six of the last eight games for the Stars against teams with a .600+ winning percentage. All in all, go with under 5.5 goals in this game.