NHL Odds & Pick for Panthers vs. Stars: Back Visiting Florida in Tight Affair (Tuesday, April 13)
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger.
- The Panthers enters this game matching their season-long losing streak of three games.
- It continues to be more of the same for Dallas, as another tough loss past regulation hurt it badly and allowed Nashville to take the additional point in a critical matchup.
- Nicholas Martin previews Tuesday night's matchup and makes his prediction below.
Panthers vs. Stars Odds
|Time||Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning via DraftKings.|
Florida heads to the American Airlines Center on Tuesday looking to fare better than it did in a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Saturday afternoon.
In contrast, the Stars will take the ice fresh off Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the surging Nashville Predators in a pivotal matchup that has major playoff implications.
The Panthers enters this game matching their season-long losing streak of three games. Florida lost two games against a very good Carolina team last week in Raleigh, N.C.,and followed it up with Saturday’s defeat at Dallas.
Florida was a buyer at the trade deadline, acquiring forward Sam Bennett from Calgary. Certainly not a blockbuster, but it’s a positive comment on where this group stands, something its fan base has not seen often enough.
The Panthers are holding on to the third spot in the Central Division, where I imagine they’ll finish down the stretch behind two superb squads in Carolina and Tampa Bay.
Florida suffered a slight slip up in its last spell, but I feel the worsened play from last week was mainly just an effect of playing perennial analytic-darling Carolina twice. That said, I don’t think this roster is likely going to continue posting bad results.
The Panthers are sixth in the league with an xGF percentage of 53.61 on the season, and while the loss of Aaron Ekblad certainly hurts badly, I still feel this roster has enough talent to continue to putting up consistent results.
It continues to be more of the same for Dallas, as another tough loss past regulation hurt it badly and allowed Nashville to take the additional point in a critical matchup.
The Stars continue to play to their identity as a very stingy defensive team. They have the second-lowest xGA/60 minutes in the league at 1.91, but depth and scoring has been hard to come by for this group.
The losses of Tyler Seguin and Alex Radulov among their top six are certainly valid excuses, but the Stars will need more than that to slide in to the final playoff spot down the stretch. Dallas announced Monday that Seguin is likely two weeks away from returning to the ice.
That said, the Stars’ 2-11 record past regulation and 1-6 record in the shootout make things appear a lot worse than they are. The underlying numbers say they’re right there, but will need to finish strong to take the final spot from Nashville. Currently, the Stars are sit six points back with three games in hand.
Betting Analysis & Pick
While I do believe we will likely see better results from the Stars, given the underlying numbers, eventual returns of Seguin and Radulov and expected potential from a team that was two wins away from hoisting the Cup last year, I am still willing to back the Panthers to end their slump in this contest.
Florida has consistently proven to be one of the strongest clubs in the league, with some elite scoring talent and strong play-driving numbers to boot. In Saturday’s game against Dallas, the team came out sloppy and got behind early on some defensive miscues, but showed well from that point on.
The Panthers have gone cold the last three games, but not without chances as they are -5.07 goals scored below expected during the span. With the talent this group has up front, I will take my chances they can regress positively toward their norm and find some offense against stingy Dallas.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has already announced Chris Driedger will start, who has been considerably better than No. 1 net minder Sergei Bobrovsky. Driedger boasts a .930 save percentage and 3.1 goals saved above expected which certainly adds some value.
For those reasons, I like Florida at -117 odds via DraftKings as my top pick.
Pick: Panthers (-117)