Dallas Stars (43-21-9) at Chicago Blackhawks (42-24-6)
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 22, 2016, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -154 / Dallas Stars +130 --- Over/Under:
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The Stars and Blackhawks meet up at the United Center on Tuesday in a battle of Western Conference heavyweights.
The Dallas Stars head back into hostile territory on Tuesday to face off against their division rivals from Chicago in a game that could very well decide who ends up winning the Central division and earn home ice in the first two rounds. The Stars currently sit atop the division with 95 points and hold a four point cushion on the Blackhawks, with the St. Louis Blues jammed in between with 93 points with all three sides playing an equal number of games. The Stars are coming off a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders and are 19-10-7 on the road this season while the Blackhawks are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, haven’t been playing their best hockey, and are coming off a 3-2 home loss to the Minnesota Wild. Kari Lehtonen is expected to get the start in the Dallas crease as he will likely face off against Scott Darling who fills the void left by a Corey Crawford injury.
The Blackhawks remain the team to beat in the Western Conference as they are the reigning Cup champions but as its stands right now they won’t even have home ice in the first round as they trail the Stars and Blues in the Central. Chicago has had a remarkable, MVP season from Patrick Kane and do have a ton of fire power but perhaps are running on fumes after another lengthy season last year and the trend of them alternating Cup crowns with an early playoff exit could continue this year. Chicago is very talented but are facing off against a Stars side that has more offensive depth and are playing with confidence and with Darling in goal I think the Hawks play a little more reserved than they do with Crawford and in the end I think that will cost them against a high flying Stars side.