NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Coyotes vs Stars (Wednesday, March 20)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Coyotes vs Stars (Wednesday, March 20) article feature image

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Pavelski #16

Coyotes vs. Stars Odds

Wednesday, March 20
8 p.m. ET
Coyotes Odds+235
Stars Odds-295
Over / Under
+100o / -122u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Arizona Coyotes vs. Dallas Stars on Wednesday, March 20 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Thirty points separate the Stars from the Coyotes in the Central Division standings. The two sides will play each other twice this week – on Wednesday in Dallas and then back in Arizona on Sunday.

These two teams are headed in very different directions.

However, with the home side opening as a -278 favorite on the moneyline for Wednesday's matchup, the total is worth a long, hard look for what could be a high-scoring affair at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

Arizona Coyotes

After going winless in the entire month of February, the Coyotes are a respectable 5-4-0 so far in March. They're heading into Dallas riding a two-game winning streak after matching 4-1 wins over the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils, with goalies Connor Ingram and Karel Vejmelka each getting a win.

Ingram has been getting a little more of the workload, which makes him likely to earn the start in Dallas. He has earned 19 of the Coyotes' 28 wins this season, and while his save percentage has slipped from .930 in early December down to its current .910, that's still above the league average of .904. He's also at 8.7 goals saved above expected for the year.

Arizona's expected goal share at 5-on-5 over the last 10 games is a modest 46.6%. But their 5-on-5 team save percentage over that stretch is 94.65%, which is fourth-best in the league. That underscores how strong their goaltending has been of late.

When they can keep the puck out of their net, they have a decent chance of winning. In March, they're averaging 3.44 goals per game and are hitting at 28% on the power play, but their penalty killing is running at a grim 63.6%.

The Coyotes' recent success has come even though GM Bill Armstrong moved out forward Jason Zucker and defensemen Matt Dumba and Troy Stecher in exchange for draft picks at the trade deadline. Forwards Barrett Hayton and Travis Boyd are currently on the shelf with injuries and Nick Bjugstad is being evaluated on Tuesday after suffering an injury in Arizona's last game.

Dallas Stars

The Stars are locked in a three-way battle for first place in the Central Division. They're tied with the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche with 91 points heading into Tuesday's games, although Dallas has the lowest points percentage due to more games already played.

The Stars are in the midst of a five-game homestand. And after starting out with losses against Florida and New Jersey, they're coming off a big night last Saturday, when they beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 as Mike Modano was honored with the unveiling of his statue outside the American Airlines Center.

Over the last 10 days, the Stars' puck-possession game has been on point, controlling 56.71% of expected goals. And like the Coyotes, their power play has been excellent in the month of March, at 33.3%. Their penalty killing is a work in progress at 68.4%.

But unlike Arizona, Dallas is struggling to stop pucks. The club's team save percentage at 5-on-5 this month is 89.67% and both goalies are underperforming this season with Scott Wedgewood at -6.3 goals saved above expected for the year and Jake Oettinger at -6.7.

Oettinger has been getting most of the starts. But he was pulled last Thursday after giving up four goals on 10 shots to the Devils. Wedgewood earned the win against the Kings.

The Stars picked up defenseman Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames ahead of the trade deadline. The 34-year-old is averaging just under 18 minutes a game playing behind Miro Heiskanen, on Dallas's second pairing.

On the injury front, the Stars have been missing forwards Tyler Seguin and Evgenii Dadonov. Seguin is skating and coach Peter DeBoer characterized him as a game-time decision for Wednesday. Defenseman Jani Hakanpaa did not practice on Tuesday and is said to be day-to-day.

Rookie Logan Stankoven picked up his first point in five games against the Kings on Saturday. He's now at nine points in his first 11 NHL games.

Coyotes vs. Stars

Betting Pick & Prediction

These two Central Division foes have met just once so far this year. Matt Duchene's goal gave the Stars the 4-3 shootout win in Tempe back in November.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. And while the Stars do lay an egg at home from time to time — see last Thursday's loss to New Jersey — they're generally pretty consistent in front of their fans, with a home record of 20-10-4 for the year.

Both these teams can score goals, and have strong power plays and shaky penalty kills. That could add up to plenty of scoring — and that makes plus money on the total look attractive.

Pick: Over 6.5 (+106 at DraftKings); play down to -105

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