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Blackhawks vs. Stars NHL Odds & Pick: Hot Goaltenders Put Value on Total

Blackhawks vs. Stars NHL Odds & Pick: Hot Goaltenders Put Value on Total article feature image

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Anton Khudobin.

  • The Blackhawks and Stars face off on Tuesday night in the second of back-to-back matchups.
  • Neither team's starting goaltender started the first game on Sunday, so their return should bring a low-scoring game.
  • Matt Russell breaks down how he's betting this Central Division matchup, with a focus on the total.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars Odds

Blackhawks +125
Team Odds -148
Over/Under 5.5
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday night and via DraftKings.

Everything is an afterthought. On Super Bowl Sunday, every other game or event in the sports world takes a backseat to the big one. Leagues go out of their way to schedule around the actual start time of the NFL’s crown jewel. The NHL and NBA get their games done in time for kickoff, as do a smattering of NCAA basketball games. 

It doesn’t matter. The second the ball gets kicked for the Super Bowl, the flash bulbs act as though they’re a collective memory eraser. Like the wand device Will Smith’s character used in “Men In Black.”

In football-crazed Texas, the Blackhawks-Stars game might not have made the radar, and it’s not like Chicago isn’t also into football more than the average NFL city.

So this might be news to many that the first matchup between these teams was a game that happened on Sunday. Good news though: You didn’t miss much, and they’re doing it all over again on Tuesday night.

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Chicago Blackhawks

You could forgive the Blackhawks’ new No. 1 goalie if he snuck some nachos or a brownie in the shape of a football onto the bench on Sunday, as it was a pair of backup goaltenders getting the call for each side. Malcolm Subban stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 2-1 win in Dallas.

Holding the Stars at bay was a bigger surprise Sunday than the Buccaneers convincing win, as PK’s little brother hadn’t played much so far this season.

With the starting job between the pipes still up for grabs, Subban got the start in the season opener but didn’t get much help from the team in front of him and gave up five goals to the Lightning. In his second start, two weeks later, he hung tough in a 3-2 overtime loss in Nashville.

Neither game was enough to show Chicago brass that he’s the best option, at least not with Kevin Lankinen taking the puck and running with it in his opportunity between the pipes. 

Lankinen has a +6.54 GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average) this season, good for third in the NHL, through eight starts. He earned Super Bowl Sunday off, but we missed an opportunity to get a +150 win with the Hawks, due to the fact that my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast, made the true moneyline for each team Stars -140 and Blackhawks +140. That made the sportsbooks’ price of -150/+130 as fair as could be expected.

Dallas Stars

The Stars’ starting goalie had all the opportunity he could ever want to dig into the pre-Super Bowl spread early, as Anton Khudobin wasn’t permitted on the bench after being disciplined for being late to practice on Saturday. Trust me when I tell you there’s nothing worse than when the goalie’s late. Shooting on an open net is only fun during the actual games. 

Jake Oettinger played well enough to win but with each team limiting the others’ High-Danger Chances (HDC), solid goaltending was all that was required for a 1-1 game through regulation.

This is nothing new for Dallas, as it marked the third straight game it held its opponent to exactly five HDC. The Stars also have an average Expected Goals Against (xGA) of 1.4 this season, the lowest in the already relatively low-scoring Central Division.

Khudobin will return to the crease on Tuesday, perhaps a little sheepish after sleeping through his alarm clock. With the Stars seeking revenge, and teams in their situation winning at a 62% rate this season, this could be a good spot to back the Stars at -150, should you get the same price as was available on Sunday.

Betting Analysis & Pick

If you’re not willing to pay the price with the Stars, I think the play here is the under. Khudobin has a little something to prove and Lankinen’s strong play to start the season should provide a pair of brick walls for the opposition offense.

The Stars’ recent HDC conversion rate of 19.4% is due for some regression, and Lankinen is good enough to help that water find its level there. As the better team seeking revenge, the Stars will mind their ‘P’s and ‘Q’s defensively to hold the Hawks offence at bay. 

Like with any successful under, you might need something to augment the experience of watching this one. Maybe some nachos? Or a brownie shaped like a puck? At least a winning ticket might make this meeting a little more memorable.

Pick: Under 5.5 (up to 6.0 at -120 or better) 


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