NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Islanders vs. Stars (April 5)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Islanders vs. Stars (April 5) article feature image

Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Oettinger.

  • The Stars are short home favorites against the Islanders on Tuesday night.
  • The Stars have gotten strong play in goal from Jake Oettinger this season, but is this a spot to sell high on Dallas' defense?
  • Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Islanders vs. Stars Odds

Islanders Odds+120
Stars Odds-145
Over/Under5.5 (-105/-115)
Time8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Metropolitan Division's fifth-place New York Islanders travel to Dallas to take on the Central Division's fifth-place Stars on Tuesday night. This is the second meeting between these two teams this season as the Islanders won the first matchup 4-2.

Will we see another high-scoring affair between these two teams, or will the goaltending step up this time around?

Islanders Defense Stepping Up

The New York Islanders' goaltending situation is currently unclear as starting goaltender Ilya Sorokin is cleared to play but has remained out of the lineup as he deals with a concussion. Regardless of who starts in net between the three options the Islanders have, I still like the under in this matchup.

All three goaltenders for New York have been in good form. Sorokin has allowed two or fewer goals in six of his last seven starts, Semyon Varlamov has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last six starts, and Cory Schneider allowed just three goals on 30 shots in his lone start this season against a very dangerous New Jersey offense.

New York has played some excellent defense recently and should be able to help out whoever is in net. Over their last five games, the Islanders are only giving up an average of 2.4 goals per contest.

We could see some regression from New York's offense, which has scored an average of 3.4 goals over their last five games, especially against a Dallas team that is very difficult to score on. This season, the Islanders rank just 16th in the league in five-on-five Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF).

Oettinger Leads a Strong Stars Defense

The Dallas Stars enter this contest following Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken. This loss was yet another low-scoring affair for the Stars, who have now seen the total go under 5.5 in five of their last eight games.

The primary reason for these low-scoring games has been the excellent goaltending of Jake Oettinger, who is the projected starting goaltender for Dallas in this matchup. Oettinger has been a safe bet recently as he has allowed three or fewer goals in 20 of his last 21 starts.

This season, Oettinger ranks 11th in the league in five-on-five Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes (GSAx) and boasts a solid 0.916 Save Percentage. The defense in front of Oettinger has been equally as impressive this season as Dallas ranks 10th in the league in five-on-five Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA).

Over their last eight games, the Stars have given up an average of just three goals per game over their last eight contests. On the other hand, their offense has not held up their end of the bargain as they are averaging just 2.82 goals scored over their last 11 games.

Islanders vs. Stars Pick

We have two tough defenses facing off in what should be a low-scoring game. The total only reached six in their lone matchup this season due to an empty-net goal with under 20 seconds left in the game.

Barring another bad beat like that, I expect another physical low-event game from these two teams.

Pick: Islanders/Stars Under 5.5 (-115) | Play up to (-125)

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