Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/12/13
Dallas Stars (14-10-5) at Nashville Predators (14-14-3)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Nashville Predators -116 / Dallas Stars +105 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Stars and Predators mete in Nashville on Thursday night as both teams look to make a move in the Central division standings.
The Stars have quietly put together a nice start to the regular season but it has largely gone unnoticed as they play in a very tough division with the likes of Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Colorado stealing most of the divisional headlines. Dallas is a team that was expected to be at the bottom of the league table this year as they’re in the midst of a transitional overhaul but they have surprised a lot of people and could very well be a team that sneaks into the final playoff spot in the West. They have a great goaltender in Kari Lehtonen who is one of the most underrated in the game and have a nice top six forward group that includes Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Dallas may not be a team that goes on a deep run in this year’s playoffs but they have been very competitive against some of the game’s best teams and against Nashville who has fallen off quite a bit in the last couple years they should be able to do the same.
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Nashville is a team that went from being a physical juggernaut and one that team’s circled on their schedule to an also ran in the West which served them many times during the inception of the franchise. The Preds still retain some defensive power in the form of Shea Weber and rookie Seth Jones but their lack of offensive productivity which was always alleviated by great defending and goaltending hasn’t been able to tip the scale in order for the Preds to be successful. To me Nashville is still recovering from the loss of Ryan Suter and while Jones has the potential to get there it will certainly be a few years and in that time I think the Preds will struggle. The loss of Pekka Rinne continues to sting and while Marek Mazanec has played well in relief I don’t see him being able to match save for save with Lehtonen here and I think Dallas is the better team. Take them on the road at a very nice price.