The Pittsburgh Penguins go to battle with the Dallas Stars Thursday night! Check out our NHL odds series as we hand out a Penguins-Stars prediction and pick. We will also tell you how to watch the game.
The Penguins are holding on to the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points on the year. They lead the Florida Panthers by just one point heading into the final 11 games of the season. Pittsburgh Trails the New York Islanders by just two points. A win tonight would put them into a tie for the top wild card spot. No team wants to have to go into Boston for the playoffs, so that top wild card spot is very important. The Penguins were in Colorado last night and beat a very strong Avalanche team 5-2.
The Stars are tied for first in the Central Division of the Western Conference with the Minnesota Wild at 90 points. The Avalanche are just two points behind both those teams with 88 points. That makes every game that much more important for Dallas. The Stars want that top spot in their division. Last time out, Dallas lost to the Kraken at home. That game was their second straight overtime game.
These teams have met once this season. The Penguins came out on top in that one, beating the Stars 2-1. This will be the final meeting between the two teams this year, and it is an important one.
Here are the Penguins-Stars NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Penguins-Stars Odds
Pittsburgh Penguins: +1.5 (-172)
Dallas Stars: -1.5 (+142)
Over: 6.5 (-110)
Under: 6.5 (-110)
How To Watch Penguins vs. Stars
Stream: ESPN app
Time: 9 PM ET/6 PM PT
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Why The Penguins Could Cover The Spread
The Penguins are led by Sydney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. They will need both these guys to play well in this game if they want to win. The Stars play solid defense, but Pittsburgh has the fourth most total shots in the NHL. Crosby is the type of player you always have to keep an eye on. If he can keep making plays and find open skaters around the net, the Penguins will come away with the win. In the 11 games Pittsburgh has played in March, Crosby has 12 points. Guentzel has 11 points in Match with seven of those coming from goals. Evgeni Malkin has 11 assists in March as well. These three players will have to keep up their solid performances in this game.
Casey DeSmith is expected to start in goal for this one. He has a save percentage over .900 and gives up just over 3.1 goals per game. In his last five games played, DeSmith has a save percentage of .927. The Penguins have struggled in their last ten games. They have given up 3.5 goals per game in those ten games. Strong play from him in this game will keep the Penguins close and give them a chance to win.
Why The Stars Could Cover The Spread
The Stars are coming off a loss, but that is not due to lack of offense. Dallas is scoring 4.8 goals per game in their last 10 contests. They have scored four or more goals in eight of their last ten games. When the Stars hit the four-goal mark, they have a record of 30-3-6. With their offense, this number is not out of the realm of possibility. The Stars need to stay on the attack and take their shots.
At home, the Stars are only giving up 3.1 goals per game. They have a record of 17-9-9 in those home games. Pittsburgh is scoring under 3 goals per game in their last ten. With the Stars solid defending and good goaltending play, they should be able to keep the Penguins’ offense in check. Jake Oettinger will get the start in the game, so the Stars will have their best guy in net. He allows just 2.51 goals per game, and is top 10 in save percentage. He also has four shutouts on the year. Oettinger in net is the Stars’ best chance to win and stay atop their division.
Final Penguins-Stars Prediction & Pick
It is always hard to bet against Sydney Crosby. However, the Start are lighting it up offensively and with Oettinger in net, they should be able to hold the Penguins down. With the Penguin coming off a late game Wednesday night, the Stars should be able to take advantage of a tired Pittsburgh team. Expect the home team to handle their business.
Final Penguins-Stars Prediction & Pick: Stars -1.5 (+142), Over 6.5 (-110)