NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Predators (December 27)
Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Robertson
- The Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars in an NHL matchup on Tuesday night.
- Dallas has been one of the surprises of the NHL season so far, while nothing has gone right for Nashville so far this season.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Stars vs. Predators Odds
|8 p.m. ET
It hasn't been a very pretty beginning to the season for the Predators. The last 10 games leading into the holidays were very inconsistent for them, going 3-4-3 in that span.
The Stars have been a very pleasant surprise this season thanks to the offensive explosion from Jason Robertson and the strong play in goal from Jake Oettinger.
These two teams have met just once this season back in October when the Stars bested the Preds by the score of 5-1 in Dallas.
Nashville is hoping that the holiday break came at the perfect time and now it can regroup in order to try and turn this season around. The Stars, on the other hand, will look to keep up the consistency as they are currently sitting in first place in the Central division.
The Stars have had a lot to be happy about at the beginning of the season. Robertson is quickly becoming one of the most elite goal scorers in the NHL, tallying 24 goals in 35 games thus far, and Oettinger has entered the Vezina conversation, skating to a .919 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average.
As a team, the most impressive aspect of the Stars' game has been their offensive production, not only at even strength but also at the man advantage. In their last two games, the Stars have scored on four out of their last nine opportunities on the power play and they enter this game as the fifth-best team with a man up, converting at a 27.4 success rate.
Dallas also ranks fifth in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.57 goals per game. The Stars have so many offensive weapons up front other than Robertson. Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen on the blue line are all key contributors.
Oettinger has been the biggest factor in the Stars' success this season, entering this contest with a record of 14-5-3, but the team as a whole was playing very well leading into the holidays, going 6-3-1 in the last 10 games.
The Stars generate the fourth most chances for in the league, averaging 12.51 per game, so they should have a solid amount of opportunities in this game.
The Predators have been struggling mightily this season when it comes to offensive production. They enter this game as the third-worst offensive team in the NHL, only scoring 2.50 goals per game. To make matters worse, they have the fourth-lowest power play percentage in the league as well, skating to a 16.2% success rate.
If it weren't for Juuse Saros in goal, the Predators would be a complete mess. Saros has been the only consistent player for Nashville, boasting an 11-9-5 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.81 goals against average along with +10.1 goals saved above expected. Saros has actually had a very strong season, despite his team's poor play.
Even though the Predators are on home ice for this contest, where they are 8-5-3, they are still going to have their work cut out for them against a much stronger opponent.
Matt Duchene, Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg haven't been producing as much as they were last season, if these three can get it going at a more consistent rate, then the Predators might be able to squeeze their way into the playoff picture.
Stars vs. Predators Pick
The Stars have been one of the best teams in the league all season long and it is extremely beneficial for them to have had a couple of days of rest during the holidays. The Predators may have needed this time off as well, but for different reasons, as they are still trying to figure out what their group is capable of this season.
To me, the goaltenders cancel each other out in this game, as Oettinger and Saros have both been outstanding for their respective teams. That being said, Nashville's lack of goal-scoring is the real concern for me in this matchup.
The Stars are simply the much better team in this matchup and with both teams having an equal amount of rest, I have to think that Dallas has the edge in this game. I think the Stars will win outright.
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