Stars vs. Senators Odds, Pick, Preview: Total Has Value in Friday Night Clash
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Miro Heiskanen.
Stars vs. Senators Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
On Friday night, the Dallas Stars take on the Ottawa Senators in the Lone Star State. Even though it’s very early in the season, it will be the last time these teams face off against each other. Ottawa defeated the Stars two weeks ago 3-2 in the Canadian capital.
The Sens are an interesting team this season. After sweating out a contract negotiation with sensation Brady Tkachuk, there’s some ramped up expectations. It hasn’t been the greatest first month for Ottawa, however, as they come into this game with a 2-4 record.
Dallas is a team that has been hard to figure out since they lost in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago. They have one of the more dynamic rosters in the League, and yet, seem to struggle to find their identity, as they enter this matchup with a 3-3-1 record.
For the past four years, Ottawa have taken their fans down a long, and windy road. With a team one win away from the Stanley Cup, it seemed like they had a bright future. However, it never worked out that way. Superstars were traded, drama within the organization occurred, and fans were petitioning their owner to sell.
Amidst these problems, a commitment to a rebuild occurred, and it looks like Sens fans are about to see the fruits of their labor. Young stars like Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson, and Josh Norris are all coming into their own. The problem is, they’re missing a few key players in Shane Pinto and Colin White. Despite their below .500 record, Ottawa hasn’t played poorly at all. They’re a middle of the road team in expected goals with a 50.54 xGF%, and every one of their losses have been within striking distance.
They’re a top 10 team in their power play, and while their Penalty Kill can be better, goaltender Matt Murray has held his own in the two games he’s played in. Murray is trying to prove himself as an elite goaltender again. Since winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, he’s struggled to find his niche. Murray was on the IR to start the year, but he has come back with a vengeance, posting a .936 SV% and 1.6 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). If he continues at this pace, the Sens will be in good hands.
Coming into this season, expectations were high on the Stars. Last year, it didn’t seem like anything went their way, as they battled COVID, postponing games, and injuries.
However, it’s a new slate, and they haven’t been as powerful as most expected. Captain Jamie Benn is showing signs of decline, but their defense has always been one of the best. A core around Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, and Esa Lindell can be hard to play against for years to come.
Similar to their counterparts, the Stars haven’t been a bad team at all. They’re also in the middle when it comes to expected goals with a 50.11 xGF%. Heiskanen is a top 10 defenseman in the league and is incredibly capable offensively, as he has 7 points in 7 games. Dallas has a bottom-10 power play, but their penalty kill has been exceptional, just a few points above the league average.
One of the reasons no one can ever figure out the Stars is their goaltending. Ben Bishop was supposed to be the number one guy, but injuries have derailed him. Anton Khudobin had a magical run two seasons ago in the Bubble, but he’s been nothing more than a backup.
They managed to pry former Vezina winner, Braden Holtby, from Vancouver. Holtby’s had a career resurgence, posting a .939 SV% and a 2.4 GSAx. Sometimes goalies can steal games, and if Dallas’ offense isn’t showing up, Holtby could be their guy to lead them to the playoffs again.
Stars vs. Senators Pick
I’m expecting a pretty even matchup. Given that both Ottawa and Dallas are so average on the offensive end, I don’t see much scoring on Friday night.
If Murray and Holtby end up starting in net, I can see this ending up to be a 2-1 type of game, and for that, I can see value in taking the under.
Pick: Under 5.5 at -105.