NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Golden Knights (January 16)
Adam Davis/Icon Sports. Pictured: Dallas Stars Goalie Jake Oettinger
- The Stars and Golden Knights go head-to-head in an intriguing Western Conference battle.
- Both these teams are coming off losses, but they've each won six of their past 10, and there's a reason both are near the top of the standings.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and offers up her best bet below.
Stars vs. Golden Knights Odds
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Two of the top teams in the Western Conference will go head-to-head Monday at T-Mobile Arena when the Dallas Stars kick off a three-game road trip against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The game is a mid-afternoon start in Vegas, and part of a full-day, 11-game NHL slate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Here's the latest on both sides, and your best bet for the game.
Monday's game marks a homecoming for Stars coach Peter DeBoer, who spent two-plus seasons with the Golden Knights before being fired at the end of last season.
Dallas has turned out to be a great landing spot for the two-time Stanley Cup finalist. He has kept the Stars at or near the top of the Central Division standings all season long.
As far as their 5-on-5 expected goals share goes, the Stars are in the middle of the pack at 51.13%. But they're good at both ends of the ice and are in the top seven in the league in both scoring and defending. Special teams are even better as Dallas is fifth on the power play and penalty kill. Jake Oettinger has followed up his star turn in the 2022 playoffs with an outstanding season to date. He boasts a .924 save percentage, is tied for fifth in wins (19) and is also fifth with 15.3 goals saved above expected.
Backup Scott Wedgewood was between the pipes for the Stars' 6-5 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Oettinger should get the nod for Monday's matchup.
Lately, the Stars have been in a little bit of a dip, with a 2-3-1 record in 2023. They've also been missing their top center, Roope Hintz, for the past three games. He's sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are in the midst of a seven-game homestand and are 2-2-0 so far. They're 6-3-1 in their past 10 games, but the standings are tightening. Both Seattle and Los Angeles are just two points behind Vegas, and the Kraken have two games in hand.
Still, it's been an impressive bounce-back season after the Golden Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in their history. Bruce Cassidy has instilled a strong structure which shows up in the Golden Knights' 52.93% expected goals rate at 5-on-5, which is ninth-best in the league.
Vegas sits just outside the top 10 in both goals for and against. And while the power play is solid at a seventh-ranked 25.2%, the Golden Knights penalty kill leaves a bit to be desired (78.8%).
Now 30 games into his official rookie season, Logan Thompson has 18 wins and a steady .913 save percentage. But he's actually -1.0 goals saved above expected and is 2-3-1 in his past six starts. The heavy workload might be starting to weigh on him.
Backup Adin Hill has recorded both wins on this homestand. And though Hill is -3.7 goals saved above expected, his basic stats are impressive. Hill is 10-3-1 with a .909 save percentage and 2.61 GAA.
Finally, it wouldn't be Vegas if we didn't have injury updates to sort through. Last week, Mark Stone was sidelined with an upper-body injury that's expected to keep him out indefinitely. The Golden Knights also lost forward William Carrier to an upper-body injury in their Saturday loss to Edmonton.
On the back end, Las Vegas is still without defensemen Shea Theodore and Zach Whitecloud.
Stars vs. Golden Knights Pick
Vegas and Dallas are in similar spots as we hit the midpoint of the regular season. Both are still winning more than they lose, but not at the same gaudy rates as earlier in the year.
It's understandable that the Golden Knights are favored to win. They've been home for nearly two straight weeks and should be significantly better rested.
However, their top players have been in a bit of a funk. So far in 2023, Nicolas Roy leads Vegas with five points in five games, while the usual suspects — Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski — have been getting the job done for Dallas.
In net, Oettinger is still rock solid, with just four goals allowed in his past three games. And you better believe this revenge game will mean a little more for DeBoer, who's back in Vegas for the first time since his firing.
Back the road dogs to win in Sin City on Monday.
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