Dallas Stars (13-9-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (14-11-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 5, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -136 / Dallas Stars +124 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
On Tuesday night we saw exactly why the Dallas Stars are a team that could be very dangerous if they every found a way to make the playoffs this season. The odds of that happening in their extremely difficult division is slim, but it doesn't make the idea of it any less entertaining. A Chicago Blackhawks-Dallas Stars playoff series would be a heck of a lot of fun to see. These two hockey teams really don't like each other and for an early December game these two teams really gave everybody something to watch on Tuesday. Valeri Nichushkin and Alex Chiasson scored first period goals as the Stars took a 2-0 lead with them into the intermission despite being outshot 15-6. Erik Cole's third goal of the year gave the Stars a 3-0 lead early in the second period before Chicago rallied back on goals from Patrick Sharp, Nick Leddy, and Marcus Kruger to tie the game heading into the third. It was Antoine Roussel converting on a penalty shot early in the third period that proved to be the game winner as Kari Lehtonen made 47 saves on 50 shot attepts to pick up the victory. Lehtonen is such an underrated goaltender and when Dallas needed him most in this one he rose to the occasion. Now the Stars will head to Toronto to take on a Maple Leafs club that's reall struggling right now. The Maple Leafs lost their fifth straight game on Tuesday night and right now the Leafs can't keep the puck out of their net. In those five losses they've allowed 23 goals, or 4.6 goals per game. James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have both struggled of late and they haven't been getting much help from the Leafs defense in front of them. After falling behind 2-0 early against the San Jose Sharks the Leafs rebounded on goals from Mason Raymond and Phile Kessel but they could never take the lead in this one. A late goal by San Jose in the second period and another in the third sent the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 defeat. This is a tough game to pick because the Leafs are due for a victory but we're still getting value on a Dallas club that's extremely underrated. This should be a tight one but I'm going to take the plus money and the better goaltender in this one.