Dallas Stars (14-14-5) at St. Louis Blues (21-10-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 27, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -180 / Dallas Stars +155 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Stars look to play their way out of the Central division basement with a road win in St. Louis while the Blues look to chase down the Blackhawks for the division lead.
The Dallas Stars have had one of the more disappointing seasons thus far across the entire league as they had massive expectations coming into the year yet at the Christmas break they sit in dead last in the Central and are 15 points back of Chicago for the division lead. A huge reason as to why the Stars have spiraled is two fold as Kari Lehtonen has had an off year despite a recent surge back to relevance and a subpar season from Jamie Benn paired with non existent support from Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky who the team brought in to fill their secondary scoring void. The Stars are among the league's worst teams defensively and are a -18 on the season in terms of goals for and against a Blues side that is among the league's best in team defense it could spell for a long night. Lehtonen is expected to get the start as he will go up against Jake Allen.
The Blues have been as consistent as they come in the NHL this season as they always seem to find ways to rebound after a loss and that is what they'll be aiming to do here against the Stars. St. Louis is one of the trendy picks to win the Cup as they have been over the last few seasons and while they continue to mature and get better as a team we have yet to see any form of playoff success from this group. The Blues have one of the most imposing bluelines in hockey and if they can shut down the Stars' top guns then they should have no trouble in this spot but the problem with Dallas is that they can score in bunches regardless of the opponent. I think the Blues have an easy time here but the line isn't enticing so I think approaching the total would be best and I think the under here is the way to go. Dallas has been better of late in their own zone and if they have any shot at winning this one they'll need to keep the score low.