Date/Time: April 3, 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Dallas
NHL Betting Odds From BetOnline Sportsbook
Moneyline: Dallas -115
The St. Louis Blues are almost a lock for the postseason, while the Dallas Stars are hoping to spend one more day with a small chance at the playoffs. The Blues have dropped two straight and six out of 10, while the Stars are 7-3 over their last 10 games. Even though both teams are in very different situations, the Stars are a small favorite for Friday night’s matchup.
The St. Louis Blues were in first place for a little while in the Central Division, but some bad play coupled with a streak of improved play from the Nashville Predators has the Blues four back in back of the Preds. The Blues do have two games in hand, however, so they can close the gap in a hurry. St. Louis has four fewer regulation/overtime wins than Nashville, so they will have to win the division outright. St. Louis has the second-best goal differential in the conference and they have a one-point lead over Chicago for the second-place spot. The Blues are in the top 10 in goals per game, goals against per game, power play percentage, and penalty killing percentage.
Vladimir Tarasenko is having an outstanding season. He leads the team with 36 goals and has 35 assists for 71 points in 76 games. Tarasenko is one of the few Blues players to play in every game this season. Only Alex Pietrangelo and Tarasenko have suited up in all 76 games. Alexander Steen leads the team in assists with 38 and has added 24 goals. David Backes has 25 goals in 75 games for second on the team. Brian Elliott is 24-14-3 with a 2.20 GAA and a .919 SV%. Jake Allen is 19-6-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a .906 SV% this season.
The Dallas Stars have had no problem scoring goals this season, but their inability to prevent them is the reason why they will spend the playoffs at home. Dallas has averaged 3.1 goals per game this season, but their 3.2 goals allowed per game ranks 27th in the NHL. The Stars have also struggled on special teams. The Stars have struggled at home this season with a 16-15-8 record. They are 21-15-2 on the road. The Stars have a shot at surpassing last season’s win total of 37 with five games to play.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have had spectacular seasons. Benn leads the team with 74 points because he has played 10 more games than Seguin. Benn has a team-leading total of 46 assists and he is second in goals with 28. Seguin has 35 goals and 35 assists. No other player has more than 19 goals, though 10 other players have at least 11 goals. Kari Lehtonen is 34-16-10 with a 2.88 GAA and a .906 SV%. Lehtonen has five shutouts on the season. The backup goaltenders for the Stars have posted a 3-14 record in 20 games.
Free NHL Picks: St. Louis Blues
The Blues have a lot more to play for and this game is for the season series. The Stars start a three-game road trip after this one, so it may be their last stand, but the Blues enter this game needing a win and needing a good effort. It’s a tough spot for the Blues with a back-to-back against Calgary on Thursday night, but that may actually help them because they can maintain the intensity from the previous night.
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Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.