Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars

 

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The Nashville Predators started the season with two consecutive victories over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but have lost each of their last two. Nashville was defeated by Carolina 4-2 and the Predators followed that with an embarrassing 7-0 loss to the Dallas Stars in the opening game of this current two-game series. Nashville is 2-2-0 with four points and is tied for second place in the Central Division two points behind first-place Tampa Bay.

Dallas had each of its first four games postponed including two versus Florida and two versus Tampa Bay before opening on Friday night with an impressive 7-0 victory over the Nashville Predators. Dallas scored five goals during the second period taking advantage of poor play at the blue line and between the pipes for the Predators. It did not appear as though the Stars were negatively affected by having their first four games postponed and Dallas looked as though it did not have a Stanley Cup Finals hangover.

Nashville must bounce back from 7-goal loss

Nashville opened the season winning two of its first three games and allowing a total of just seven goals over those three games. However, in Nashville’s loss to the Dallas Stars, the Predators gave up seven goals in just one game. The opening period was scoreless, but the floodgates opened in the second period as the Predators allowed five Dallas goals. Juuse Saros is 2-1-0 with a goals-against average of 3.00 and a 915 save percentage. Saros has pushed aside 86 of 94 shots on goal. Nashville is allowing an average of 3.50 goals per game following its disastrous loss on Friday.

Filip Forsberg is leading Nashville in goals scored with 3 and in points with three and Viktor Arvidsson is the leader in assists with two. Nashville is scoring an average of just 2.50 goals-per-game and part of that is due to the Predators power play, which has scored just 6.3% of the time. Nashville’s penalty-kill unit has also played below-par with an effective rate of just 62.5%.

Injury Report: Calle Jarnkrok is questionable for Sunday, while Luca Sbisa is out indefinitely.

Dallas offense takes Center Stage

It did not appear after one game that Dallas missed its leading scorer from last season Tyler Seguin, who is out recovering from surgery, as the Stars pummeled the Nashville Predators for seven goals. Leading the way was Joe Pavelski who has a team-high two goals and four points. Defenseman John Kingberg assisted on three goals and to lead the Stars in that category. After just one game of the regular season, Dallas is scoring an average of 7.00 goals per game and is allowing goose eggs at 0.00 goals-per-game.

Dallas began its season without No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop, who is also sidelined recovering from surgery, but Anton Khudobin pushed aside each of the 34 shots he faced off the sticks of the Predators and through one game has a perfect 0.00 goals against average and 1.00 save percentage. Dallas scored on 62.5% of its power plays and it’s penalty-kill unit was effective 100% on opening night.

Injury Report: Dallas has a laundry list of players on its injury report. Jamie Benn is questionable with a lower body injury, while Blake Comeau, Justin Dowling and Taylor Fedun are out indefinitely and Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin are out until at least mid March.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Until Nashville fixes its problem at the blue line and in goal, the Predators will be giving up plenty of goals. Nashville gave up as many goals in one game as they did in their previous three games and Dallas jumped out of the starting gate quickly posting seven goals with five coming in just the second period. Dallas has won four of the last five versus Nashville played in Dallas and the Stars have won six of the last 8 overall against the Predators. Dallas will take advantage of the momentum gained from its 7-0 victory over Dallas to start the series by skating to another victory on Sunday.

Prediction:
Dallas Stars -110

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Nashville is allowing an average of 3.50 goals per game and scoring an average of 2.50 goals per game which adds up to most totals finishing over. In the first game of the series, Nashville did not even score a goal but Dallas easily put the total over with their seven goals. The total has finished over in nine of the last 12 meetings between the Stars and Predators played in Dallas.

Prediction:
OVER 5.5