NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Stars vs. Predators (October 13)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Juuse Saros
- The Pradators host the Stars in their 2022 home opener.
- Nashville has impressed early in the season and Juuse Saros has been dominant.
- Tony Sartori breaks down this matchup and shares his best bet below.
Stars vs. Predators Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||ESPN+ / Hulu|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
We have the first meeting between these two Central Division teams this season as the Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars. Last year, Nashville won three of the four meetings between these two clubs.
Will the Preds take care of business once again, or can the Stars pull off the upset as a short-road underdog?
After a playoff appearance last season, Dallas will look to kick the season off on a high note against Nashville. With the off-season addition of Mason Marchment and the call-up of Wyatt Johnston, the Stars are trying to bolster a forward group that was extremely thin last season.
Those two skaters should help the offense, but expectations should be tempered given that this is the first game of the season. As is the case with almost any player skating with a new team, growing pains should be expected.
While the Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz-Joe Pavelski line was elite last season, the other nine forwards weren't dependable for most of the campaign. At 5v5, Dallas ranked just 30th in the league in goals for (GF).
Including last season's playoff series against Calgary, the Stars have scored two or fewer goals in 11 of their past 17 games. There was also an offseason coaching change in Dallas as the Stars brought in Peter DeBoer following the departure of Rick Bowness.
Known as a defensive-minded coach, DeBoer likely doesn't solve many of the problems that stem from the lack of depth among the forwards.
On the other side of the ice, the 2-0 Predators look to build upon their successful European trip. The defense and goaltending looked outstanding in each of their two wins over the San Jose Sharks as the Predators allowed two or fewer goals in each contest.
At 5v5 last season, Nashville ranked 14th in the league in goals against (GA) and seventh in xGA. The blue line has only improved over the off-season as they added Stanley Cup champion Ryan McDonagh.
Through the first two games of the season, the Preds allowed just 1.97 xGF/60. Backing up this strong defense is one of the Vezina favorites this season, goaltender Juuse Saros.
Saros got the opening night start against San Jose and was brilliant, stopping 30 of 31 shots for a .968 SV%. In that contest, he saved 1.39 goals above expected.
That start was just a continuation of last year's outstanding campaign, a season in which Saros finished with a .918 SV% and 2.64 GAA.
Stars vs. Predators Pick
We should expect Saros' strong play to continue against the Stars. In his 17 career starts against Dallas, the Predators' netminder is 12-4-1 with a .925 SV% and a 2.18 GAA.
Last season, the Stars scored two or fewer goals in three of their four games against Nashville. Dallas' offense is extremely top-heavy, and while that line could score 1-2 goals, I am not confident in the Stars' depth to do too much against this strong defense and goaltender.
Additionally, this will be Nashville's home opener as they were in Prague for their two games against the Sharks. Bridgestone Arena is an incredibly tough place to play — especially in the first game of the season against a divisional opponent.
Pick: Dallas Stars 60-Minute Team Total Under 2.5 (-104) | Play up to (-120)