NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Blackhawks (March 28)
Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Stars celebrate a goal.
- The Chicago Blackhawks welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center on Tuesday night for an NHL matchup.
- Dallas is obviously a huge favorite over lowly Chicago, so what is the best way to back the Stars in this position?
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Stars vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Dallas Stars are in a fierce three-way battle for the Central Division title going into Tuesday’s game against the lowly Chicago Blackhawks.
Given how Chicago has done this season, this is a great opportunity for Dallas to collect two points. Will the Stars be able to do just that, or will they let the chance slip from their fingers?
The Stars’ biggest strength this campaign has been goaltender Jake Oettinger, but perhaps the 24-year-old is feeling the effects of the season-long marathon, because he hasn’t been quite himself lately.
Oettinger did stop 40 of 42 shots in a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday, but even including that start, he has a 3.52 GAA and an .892 save percentage over his last nine outings. In contrast, the netminder posted a 2.29 GAA and .923 save percentage in his first 46 appearances this season.
If fatigue has been a factor, it might help that Oettinger got Saturday’s contest off, so he’ll be going into this game after resting for four full days.
He’s not the only Stars player who needs to bounce back. The team has averaged just 2.83 goals over their last six games, which is down from 3.40 overall in 2022-23.
Not every Dallas player has gone cold. Jamie Benn has six goals and 16 points over his last 10 outings while Joe Pavelski has three goals and six points over his past four contests.
The team has been lacking contributions from some key secondary scorers, though. Tyler Seguin missed five games from March 11-21 because of a leg injury, and he has one assist in two contests since returning. Meanwhile, Max Domi, who was acquired from Chicago, has been limited to an assist over his last seven outings.
Dallas is consequently going through an off-stretch with a 2-3-1 record over its last six contests.
That’s still better than Chicago’s done lately. The Blackhawks have lost five straight as they “compete” for the worst record in the NHL. Not that their struggles are in any way surprising.
Patrick Kane is gone. Domi is gone. Jonathan Toews is shut down. If you want to include those from the 2021-22 campaign, then Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Brandon Hagel, Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach are also gone.
What’s even left? Taylor Raddysh. That’s not a player I picked at random. He’s the team’s scoring leader among those who are actually still on the roster. Raddysh has 20 goals and 33 points in 73 games. Not to pick on him (it’s not his fault the Blackhawks dealt all their top forwards), but Dallas has seven players with more points, and four who have at least doubled Raddysh’s total. But he’s the best Chicago has left.
Oh, and Raddysh is on a six-game scoring slump. Chicago has collectively scored six goals over the same span. Wyatt Johnston isn’t the biggest threat on the Stars, but he’s almost singlehandedly matched Chicago with four goals over his last six appearances.
In net, Chicago will likely have Alex Stalock. Chicago has used six different goaltenders this season, but Stalock’s been the best option, posting a 9-11-1 record, 2.80 GAA and .915 save percentage in 22 games. If Chicago ends up winning this contest, it would probably be thanks to Stalock.
That said, there’s an issue even there. Stalock has struggled lately, posting a 3.31 GAA and an .899 save percentage over his last six appearances.
Stars vs. Blackhawks Pick
The Stare are expectedly regarded as the overwhelming favorite in this contest, to the point where even taking them on the puck line requires giving back some juice. Taking the Blackhawks on the other side of the puck line gives you good juice, of course, but you surely don’t want to touch that.
The total is set at 5.5, which makes sense. Dallas is going through a cold stretch offensively and Stalock isn’t bad, so this game being held to five or fewer goals is not an unreasonable prediction. However, Dallas does have a terrific offense that can heat up at any time, so the under is still a roll of the dice.
I’ll ultimately take Dallas on the puck line. I see that as a safer bet than the under for roughly the same potential winnings.
Pick: Stars Puck Line -1.5 (-115 or Better)
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