Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars - 1/20/14
Dallas Stars (21-19-8) at Nashville Predators (21-22-7)
NHL Hockey: Monday, January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Nashville Predators -126 / Dallas Stars +114 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The struggling Stars head into Nashville looking to snap out of their losing funk as they take on a Predators team who has also fallen on hard times.
The Dallas Stars had a very nice start to the NHL regular season and were right in the mix in the Western Conference playoff picture but a recent slide in which they have lost eight of their last 10 contests has them reeling and slipping in the standings. Dallas made a bold move in the offseason bringing in Tyler Seguin from the Bruins and while he has some off ice issues that worse out its welcome in Bean Town Seguin is a sure fire talent that has thrived in his new surroundings. Dallas comes into tonight’s game in fifth place in the Central division and trail the Wild by nine points for the final playoff spot in the West which at this rate looks as though might be out of Dallas’ reach and with the trade deadline fast approaching it could be time for the Stars to be sellers once again and build for the future. Kari Lehtonen has been strong in the Stars’ crease but he can’t do it all himself and against a Predators team tonight who is very sound defensively it could be a chess match until the final whistle.
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The Predators have been a big disappointment this season as they are just two years removed from the franchises best campaign but with the hardships they have suffered via free agency there isn’t much surprise of the team’s descent. Nashville has lost a number of free agents over the past two seasons and haven’t been able to fill the void left by those departures, namely Ryan Suter who is anchoring the Minnesota blue line and logging the most ice time in the NHL this season. Nashville has endured a goaltending carousel ever since Pekka RInne went down and after trying Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec the Preds brought in Devan Dubnyk in hopes of providing a little more stability down the stretch. Dubnyk is slated to get the call for the Preds in this one in what should be a tightly contested game between two struggling teams and while the Preds are at home and are better defensively I think the Stars have a huge edge in goal and have the deeper team up front. Go with Dallas.