Arizona Coyotes (14-18-4) at Dallas Stars (16-14-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday December 31, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Dallas Stars -175 / Arizona Coyotes +158 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Stars look to finish off 2014 by locking up their third straight win while the Coyotes have had a year to forget sitting near the bottom of the league standings.
The Arizona Coyotes have won three straight games and are on the ascent in the Pacific division but have had a very shaky start to the season as we approach the mid way point of the season but optimism isn't pouring out in the desert. The Coyotes do have some solid pieces and some draft picks that'll be contributing as early as next season but until then they are going to take their licks as I don't see them being overly competitive in the second half of the season. Arizona is likely to land a top draft pick which could very well shape the future of their franchise moving forward and with this draft class being strong at the top there could be another youngster making a difference as early as next year. As for now though the Coyotes will look for their fourth straight and take down a surging Stars team in the process. Mike Smith will get the call for the Coyotes as he will go up against Kari Lehtonen for Dallas.
The Stars are starting to turn things around and are playing like the team many thought they would be when the season began but could it be too late for them to get back into the fold in the ultra competitive Central division? Dallas currently sits in sixth place in the Central and this is in the middle of a 7-2-1 stretch that has propelled them above .500 but with the top three teams in each division guaranteed a playoff berth the Stars have their work cut out for them as they're 10 points back of third place St. Louis. Dallas is a good team that can fill the net but after a season where Kari Lehtonen was among the NHL's best goalies he has had a tough go this year and is a large part of why the team has struggled to find wins. However, the Stars are rolling right now, are on home ice, and play a Coyotes team that despite a mini three game surge is no where near Dallas' level in my opinion. Dallas in regulation here.