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NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Prediction for Stars vs. Rangers (Thursday, Jan. 12)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Prediction for Stars vs. Rangers (Thursday, Jan. 12) article feature image
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Sam Hodde/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Oettinger (29) of the Dallas Stars.

  • The Dallas Stars (25-11-6) travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers (23-12-7) on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET.
  • Tonight's NHL matchup features a stellar matchup between elite goaltenders as the Stars' Jake Oettinger faces Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers.
  • NHL betting analyst Tony Sartori previews tonight's matchup, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Stars vs. Rangers.

Stars vs. Rangers Odds

Stars Odds +100
Rangers Odds -120
Over/Under 5.5 (-125 / +105)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV MSG
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

There is a great NHL matchup in store with the Metropolitan Division’s third-place New York Rangers hosting the Central Division’s first-place Dallas Stars. With two of the best goaltenders on the planet projected to start in this contest, goals should be difficult to come by.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our pick and prediction for the Dallas Stars vs. New York Rangers.

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Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars enter Thursday’s contest amidst a flurry of low-scoring games: There have been six or fewer total goals scored in seven of the Stars’ last eight games.

This trend should continue with goaltender Jake Oettinger slated to take the crease for Dallas.

Continuing his dominant play from last year’s NHL playoffs, Oettinger has been terrific in net this season. He is 19-6-3 with a .923 save percentage (SV%) and 2.29 goals against average (GAA) in 31 appearances.

Entering this game in particularly great form, Oettinger is 6-1 with a .939 SV% and 1.70 GAA during his last seven starts. There were six or fewer total goals scored in six of those seven outings.

Oettinger’s metrics are just as good as one would expect based on his raw statistics. Among starting goaltenders, Oettinger ranks seventh in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.

In front of the Stars’ net-minder is an underrated blue line that is deeper than just superstar Miro Heiskanen. At 5-on-5, Dallas ranks in the top-half of the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).

However, goal support may be tougher to come by for the Stars in this contest, because forward Roope Hintz is not traveling with the team. Averaging more than one point per game this season, Hintz has earned every dollar of the 8-year extension he signed in November.

New York Rangers

Like Dallas, the New York Rangers boast a blue line that ranks in the top half of the NHL in xGA/60 at 5-on-5. Backing up this defense is goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who is expected to start between the pipes for the Rangers.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner has picked up where he left off last season, boasting a 19-6-6 record with a .916 SV% and 2.49 GAA through 31 starts. Based on his metrics, the second half of the season should not go any differently for Shesterkin. At 5-on-5, Shesterkin ranks ninth among starting goaltenders in GSAx/60.

This strong play is likely to continue against Dallas — against whom Shesterkin has fared well previously. Through four career starts against the Stars, Shesterkin is 3-0-1 with a .904 SV% and 2.99 GAA.

However, goal support may be an issue as this group has been inconsistent in the scoring department all year. At 5-on-5, New York ranks just 21st in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60).


Stars vs. Rangers Pick

As of writing, sportsbooks have not released odds for alternate totals, but the bet to make is taking the under at 6 instead of 5.5. The alternate total at 6 will release anywhere between -120 and -135, and any price within that range would be worth grabbing.

These are two of the best goaltenders on the planet, and the blue lines in front of them are more than capable of holding their own. Meanwhile, the Rangers’ inconsistent offense at 5-on-5 is a cause for concern, especially against the surging Oettinger.

Another cause for concern could be the Stars’ offense, which has been relatively steady throughout the campaign. However, Hintz is a big loss for the forward group, and they will need all the help they can get against Shesterkin.

Pick: Under 6 ⋅ Play to -135

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