NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs Stars (Wednesday, April 17)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs Stars (Wednesday, April 17) article feature image

Credit: Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Binnington.

Blues vs. Stars Odds

Wednesday, April 17
9:30 p.m. ET
Blues Odds+180
Stars Odds-225
Over / Under
-110/ -110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars on Wednesday, April 17 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

It's the last game of the year for both Central Division teams. The Stars are looking to clinch first place in the Western Conference, while the Blues are playing for pride as they will miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

But despite the 20-point difference in the standings, the season series between these two has been close. Dallas won the opener in a shootout on home ice back in October, then St. Louis took a pair of December home games, with the first win coming in overtime.

But while the total standings points for the year are 4-3 in the visitors' favor coming into this final game, other considerations are afoot.

With a single point, the Stars could put enough space between themselves and the Vancouver Canucks to lock down the Western Conference crown. And both teams will probably be making roster decisions with players' health and rest needs in mind.

That should add up to another close outcome at American Airlines Center.

St. Louis Blues

With one game left, the Blues are already 10 points ahead of their pace from the 2022-23 season.

But despite one of the stronger goaltending tandems in the league and generally good work by first-time NHL coach Drew Bannister, St. Louis has missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 2011, and plenty of questions are swirling around the team's future.

But the Blues have won three of their last four and are looking to finish on a high note in a rugged road barn.

They will also be shorthanded. Despite practicing on Tuesday, Jake Neighbours and Torey Krug won't make the trip to Dallas. Justin Faulk and Oscar Sundqvist are also on the injured list.

Like many teams, St. Louis has called up some younger players late in the season. Zack Bolduc is 24 games in but has now carved out a spot on the top line, although he had a three-game scoring streak snapped in Seattle on Sunday. Meanwhile, Zach Dean is skating in a bottom-six center role, still looking for his first NHL point after eight games.

By the numbers, the Blues have been one of the worst puck-possession teams in the league at 5-on-5 all season. In the last 10 games, however, they've been markedly better, climbing to a 51.45% expected goals share.

St. Louis's special teams have been a bit better than usual over the last four games, going 3-for-10 on the power play and 9-for-10 on the penalty kill.

Jordan Binnington has been confirmed to close out the season in Dallas. He has had a solid season with a winning record, a .911 save percentage and 12.1 goals saved above expected.

Dallas Stars

After reaching the Western Conference Final last season, the Stars are approaching the playoffs with something to prove.

They didn't quite edge out the Rangers for the Presidents Trophy, but a point on Wednesday will lock up the Western Conference crown and guarantee them a home-ice advantage for the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Dallas is one of the most well-balanced teams in the league. They rank third in offense, with a deep group of scorers, and have a strong power play. Some are veterans in search of their first Stanley Cup. Others include 20-year-old Wyatt Johnston (32 goals) and 21-year-old Logan Stankoven (14 points in 23 games).

The Stars are also solid on the penalty kill and the back end and got a boost from the arrival of veteran Chris Tanev at the trade deadline. While they're also 3-for-4 in recent games, Dallas posted an 8-for-9 stretch right before.

With playoffs around the corner, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Scott Wedgewood get the nod in net on Wednesday after four games on the bench. While his save percentage is below .900, he's getting the job done with a 2.85 goals-against average and a 16-7-5 record.

Injured players Evgenii Dadonov and Jani Hakanpaa are close to returning, but it's probably more likely that they'll dress for Game 1 of the playoffs.

Blues vs. Stars

Betting Pick & Prediction

The dog days of the season aren't easy to handicap.

On the one hand, the Stars are the better team, as the shops suggest, with moneyline odds as high as -225.

However, game-management decisions on both sides can play a significant role in the lineups of these games. And with their summer vacation looming, Blues players might mail it in, or they could play hard to end their seasons with their heads held high.

Since every game in the season series has been close, with two going beyond 60 minutes, this might be an opportunity to look at a longer shot.

A 60-minute tie would pay out nicely and is well within the realm of possibility — the pattern could continue.

Pick: Regulation tie (+320 at BetMGM); play down to +300

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