Dallas Stars (9-10-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (12-8-3)
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 2, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -130 / Dallas Stars +118 --- Over/Under: 6
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The Leafs look for back to back victories on home ice on Tuesday night when they host the Dallas Stars who can move to the .500 mark with a victory.
The Dallas Stars have stumbled out of the gate so far this season as they currently sit in sixth place in the Central division and for a team that was expected to challenge for the division crown it is safe to say they have been a disappointment so far. The Stars reloaded in the offseason by bringing in Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky from the Ottawa Senators to add to a group that already included Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin but the Stars haven't been able to find a groove and as such are sinking in the West and need to snap out if it in a hurry. Kari Lehtonen has been sub par between the pipes for the Stars as they lead the lead in goals against with 84 which is two worse than the lowly Oilers and if they're going to find a way to play out of this rut they need to do a better job in the defensive zone. If there is one positive to look at for Dallas in this spot though is the familiarity of Spezza and Hemsky with the Maple Leafs and the underlying motivation Seguin always has when playing against the Buds from his days with Boston.
The Maple Leafs have been playing much better of late and a large part of that has to do with the play of Tyler Bozak who is asserting himself as not only a top six forward but someone the Leafs can rely on to win them hockey games. Toronto currently sits in fifth place in the Atlantic division but are just two points back of the Boston Bruins and seven back of the Lightning for the division lead so they are by no means out of any playoff discussion as we approach the Christmas break. Toronto is a pretty solid team on paper and while they have their holes that every team has it seems like the down times for the Buds happen when their mental game is checked out and with a market like Toronto it is easy to understand how taxing the constant polarization can be. This is going to be a pretty solid game in my opinion as the Stars have guys playing with an added incentive but Toronto has been the better team this season and are playing at home. Either way, I see this game being a barn burner as both teams can score the puck and I think we can see the over by the end of the second period.