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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Stars vs. Ducks (March 31)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Stars vs. Ducks (March 31) article feature image
Credit:

Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Pavelski

  • The Ducks host the Stars in Anaheim on Thursday night as home underdogs.
  • The Stars have been playing their best hockey lately, but are they overvalued in this spot?
  • Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Stars vs. Ducks Odds

Stars Odds -175
Ducks Odds +145
Over/Under 5.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Anaheim Ducks are a complete mess right now as they come into this game after losing 10 straight games. The Ducks’ most recent loss came at home against the Stars, and these two teams are going right back at it on Thursday night with the Ducks hoping their luck can change.

The Stars have won four of their last five games and need all the points they can get as they are trying to secure a playoff spot down the stretch.

Dallas Stars Playing Well at the Right Time 

Jake Oettinger has had a breakout season and he is heating up down the stretch. Oettinger has established himself as the goalie of the future for the team down in Texas. He is 23-11-1 this season with a .916 Save Percentage and a +5.2 GSAx. He played excellent on Tuesday night in Anaheim, stopping the 26 of 28 shots that he faced and stoped 1.1 Goals Above Expected in that game.

The Stars have had a solid season, but they are by no means a much better team than the Anaheim Ducks. However, goaltending is the one area that I am way more confident about the Stars.

Dallas was the better team for most of this game but wasn’t able to break through on the Ducks until the third period. The Ducks held the lead for most of the contest, but Dallas came from behind and scored two goals in the third period to secure the 3-2 win.

Some key players to watch for Dallas are the veteran, Joe Pavelski, and the youngster, Jason Robertson. Pavelski has had one of his better seasons, and despite being 37-years-old, he leads this team in scoring with 24 goals and 42 assists for 66 points in 65 games. Robertson is right behind him as he as 31 goals with 30 assists for 61 points in 57 games.


What Will It Take for the Ducks to Get a Win?

The Anaheim Ducks have essentially played their way out of the playoffs. A month ago they actually looked like they had a good chance at making the postseason, but the month of March has not been kind to them as they have lost 10 straight games. They actually looked like they were going to end this streak on Tuesday night, but they couldn’t play a full 60 minutes.

The Ducks have been a solid offensive team all season. In fact, they only have one fewer goal (187) on the entire season than the Dallas Stars (188). One area that needs improvement is their goaltending.

John Gibson has had an excellent professional career, but this season will be one that he would like to forget. Gibson is 17-22-9 on the season with a .904 Save Percentage and a -10.4 GSAx, but he isn’t entirely to blame. As a team, the Ducks are allowing 3.18 Goals Against per game, which is slightly above their 3.04 xGA per 60 minutes.

On the offensive side of the puck, their production has really slowed down during this tough stretch. During this 10-game streak, they have only scored a total of 22 goals, which is brutal.

They are going to have to find ways to score Thursday night if they want to compete.

Stars vs. Ducks Pick

The Dallas Stars need to focus on having a better start to this game. Every game and every point matter for Dallas right now without much wiggle room in the standings. They need to take advantage of a young Ducks team that is lacking confidence right now.

The Ducks seem to be waiting for something to go wrong in every game that they have played lately. They’re getting opportunities, but they don’t have any swagger to their game right now. The other night you could tell that the Stars would find a way to comeback and win that game.

The Stars were the better team on Tuesday, and they will once again be the better team Thursday night. The Stars should get the job done in 60 minutes and continue their strong play.

Pick: Dallas Stars to Win in Regulation -110

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