Dallas Stars (20-14-7) at New York Islanders (14-22-7)
|Date & Time||Monday January 6, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +100 / Dallas Stars -110 --- 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 Islanders square off in New York on Monday as both teams look to climb up the ladder in their respective divisions.
The Stars head to the Island on Monday looking to shake a two game losing streak that has hampered the team’s progressions in the Central division and they need to right the ship in a hurry. The Central is among the game’s most competitive divisions and if the Stars want to crack the postseason they’ll need to have a strong second half of the year and three game losing streaks won’t help their pipe dream. Kari Lehtonen remains the team’s best option in goal and the Finnish national continues to give his team a chance to win every night of the week but their offensive stagnancy and their defensive woes have the team in limbo at the moment and they’ll look to rectify their losing ways against one of the league’s worst teams. Lehtonen gets the start in this one as he goes up against Evgeni Nabokov who is settling in to the starter’s role in New York.
The Islanders were supposed to be a team on the rise after they snuck into the playoffs last year and had the majority of their core back this year but after a slow start forced them to deal one of their better players it looks like the wheels have fallen off in New York for the time being. The Islanders panicked a month into the year and dealt Matt Moulson to the Sabres in exchange for Thomas Vanek who on paper is the better player but Moulson was a great locker room guy and had great chemistry with John Tavares. As a result, the Isles are in a tailspin and while they have played better of late they are 28 points behind the division leading Penguins and have the second to worst record in the Eastern Conference. However, I think this is a good spot for them as they host a Stars team who is reeling at the moment after getting shelled by the Red Wings and I think Tavares and the Isles have a great chance to restore some pride and salvage the season with a strong second half. I like New York here as a slight home dog.