NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs Hurricanes (Saturday, February 24)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs Hurricanes (Saturday, February 24) article feature image

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Pictured: Sebastian Aho

Stars vs. Hurricanes Odds

Saturday, Feb. 24
8 p.m. ET
Stars Odds+114
Hurricanes Odds-135
Over / Under
+120o / -140u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Dallas Stars vs. Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, February 24 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

Saturday's matchup will be a duel between two teams trending in opposite directions. The Stars are still sitting atop the Central Division, but are winless in their past four games. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have won four straight.

To add further intrigue, both those streaks began after Dallas beat Carolina 4-2 at the American Airlines Center on Feb. 13.

I think bettors should look for the home side to get the job done within 60 minutes on Saturday, so let's get to my Stars vs. Hurricanes pick.

Dallas Stars

The Stars are in the midst of their coldest stretch of the year as they're 0-2-2 in their past four games. They dropped a 3-1 decision to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, then lost 4-1 in Ottawa on Thursday. That's a highly unusual offensive outage for a team that's tied with Vancouver and Colorado for second overall in goals scored per game this season (3.64).

There's nothing in the lineup deployment that appears to have triggered this scoring slump. Evgenii Dadonov has been out for just over a week with an injury, but he had scored just four goals since since the new year. On defense, the Stars have been missing Nils Lundkvist and Jani Hakanpaa for the past few games, but they're not big scorers, either. Farmhand Derrick Pouliot was re-assigned to the AHL Texas Stars on Friday, suggesting that at least one of the two defensemen will be ready to draw back in against the Hurricanes.

Perhaps more worrisome for Dallas is the fact that Jake Oettinger hasn't been working his usual magic in net. The 25-year-old All-Star continues to carry the load and is 20-10-4, but his save percentage sits at a relatively low .902, he's at -0.8 goals saved above expected and was pulled midway through Thursday's game after giving up three goals on 11 shots.

On balance, the Stars are still one of the top teams in the league. Before this recent skid, they'd won seven of their past eight games while outscoring their opponents 36-23. They've controlled 54.01% of expected goals at 5-on-5 this year, fifth-best in the league, and both their power play and penalty kill rank in the top 10.

Carolina Hurricanes

Conversely, the Hurricanes are red hot. Riding a tandem of Pyotr Kochetkov and Spencer Martin in net, they've won their past four games and took down the mighty Florida Panthers 1-0 on Thursday, thanks to a Sebastian Aho goal in the final minute of regulation.

Whatever identity crisis the Hurricanes endured before Christmas is long forgotten as they're up to second in expected goals (56%). Their special teams are both in the top three and the playing environment is so good for the goalies that even though Kochetkov and Martin both have negative goals saved above expected, Martin is 3-0-0 with the Hurricanes and has a .920 save percentage, while Kotchetkov is 15-9-3 and sits at .911.

Other than their veteran goalies, Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen, who both remain sidelined, Carolina's only other injury issue is with depth defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who has missed the past two games. That has brought frequent healthy scratch Tony DeAngelo back into the lineup.

(Are you in the Tar Heel State? With North Carolina sports betting set to come online, you’ll soon be able to bet legally at major sportsbooks. Learn more.)

Stars vs. Hurricanes

Betting Pick & Prediction

Though the Stars and Hurricanes are trending in opposite directions, this has the potential to be a terrific matchup. Both teams are deep, healthy and well-coached, and while Carolina has an excellent record on home ice, Dallas is one of the best in the league on the road.

After the Stars won the first game of the season series a couple of weeks ago, look for the Hurricanes to return the favor on Saturday.

Pick: Hurricanes 60-Minute 3-Way Win (+110 at FanDuel) | Play to +100

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