Dallas Stars (34-15-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (36-17-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 11, 2016, 8:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -133 / Dallas Stars +120 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Stars and Blackhawks face off in a battle of league heavyweights on Thursday in what is certainly the most exciting match up of the evening.
The Dallas Stars head into the United Center on Thursday night looking to cut into Chicago’s lead in the Central division and distance themselves from the Blues for second place and home ice advantage in the first round. Dallas looked poised to run the table this season and possibly compete for the President’s Trophy but a speed bump mid way through the campaign has them sitting in second place in their division and are three points back of the Hawks for first. However, Dallas does have three games in hand on the Hawks and if they can get a win in this one they would make up some serious ground and put themselves in a position to get back on track and claim the top seed in the Western Conference. Antii Niemi will get the call as he will go up against Corey Crawford.
The Blackhawks meanwhile have taken a similar road to getting where they are in the league standings as the Stars but have timed it differently as their success has come post mid-November and look like a team ready to make another run at a Stanley Cup. The Hawks and Stars possess the best goal differential in the Western Conference and only trail the Caps who have a ridiculous +56 margin which goes to show just how spectacular their run has been this season. Chicago has a knack for getting up for the big game though and while I think Dallas has the fire power to compete in this game I think the difference is on defense and goaltending and both check marks there go to the Hawks.