Matchup: Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Date/Time: April 15, 2013, 8:00 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Chicago -180
Two teams that could quite possibly be meeting in the postseason clash in NHL betting action at the end of the regular season to start the last full week of the campaign, as the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars.
The Stars had a great weekend, knocking off the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks. That marked their fourth and fifth wins in a row, and they are now the last team in the playoffs in the Western Conference with just seven games to play. The team is peaking at the right time, and it has won these last two games without its net minder, G Kari Lehtonen. The goalies that are replacing Lehtonen, G Cristopher Nilstrop and G Richard Bachman both have GAAs of over three. There isn’t a player that has more than 10 goals in the season, and there isn’t a player on the team with more than 27 points, and that just isn’t going to get the job done in all likelihood. That being said, the offense is 2.8 goals per game, ranking ninth in the league in spite of the fact that it averages just 26.6 shots on goal per game, 28th in the NHL.
The Blackhawks have won five in a row, and they now have at least one point in eight straight games. Of course, that mark pales in comparison to the 24 in a row that the team rolled off to start off the campaign with at least a point. Chicago has only allowed five goals in these last five games, posting three shutouts. G Ray Emery has posted two of those three shutouts, and G Corey Crawford picked up a big time shutout against a red hot St. Louis Blues team on Sunday on national television. If there is one concern with Chicago, it is that LW Patrick Sharp clearly isn’t healthy. He got injured back on March 6th against the Colorado Avalanche, and he only just got back into the lineup on April 9th. He didn’t score a point in either of the two games that he played in, and he is now on the shelf again. There’s a good chance that he is going to be left out of the lineup in this game as well. The team is 23-0-3 with Sharp in the lineup, and just 9-5-1 without him in the fold.
The way that the Stars are playing right now, we have to think that they are the team to beat on Monday. Though we really don’t think that Dallas is going to win this game more often than not, we do think that it is going to win it at least 40% of the time or so, making it the clear choice on NHL betting odds to start the week.
Dallas Stars @ Chicago Blackhawks Pick: Dallas Stars +165
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.