A couple of teams that have put themselves squarely in playoff contention, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Dallas Stars clash at the American Airlines Center for an East-West tilt. The opening face-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, February 9, and you can view the game live on Fox Sports Southwest.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars Odds
Each team currently has an identical -110 money line in this one, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -110 money on the over and -110 for the under.
Earning moneyline bettors 0.8 units, the Stars are 32-23 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a surprising turnaround from how the team performed during last year’s regular season (34-48). Through 55 regular season outings, 29 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 24 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team’s 19-9 SU at home this year.
Dallas has converted on 20.6 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.1 percent of all penalties.
As a team, Big D has been penalized 4.3 times per game overall this season, and 3.4 per game over its past five outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays for just 7.6 minutes per game over its last five outings, overall.
Sporting a .920 save percentage and 26.7 saves per game, Ben Bishop (23-19-3) has been the top option in goal for the Stars this season. Bishop did just play last night, however, so head coach Ken Hitchcock might decide to rest him and roll with Kari Lehtonen instead (10-7-7 record, .919 save percentage, 2.22 goals against average).
Alexander Radulov and John Klingberg will each look to continue their strong seasons for the Stars. Radulov (52 points) has produced 21 goals and 31 assists and has recorded two or more points in 13 different games this year. Klingberg has six goals and 45 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 33 games.
Pittsburgh is 30-25 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 28 of its games have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just two have pushed. Pittsburgh’s 10-17 SU as the visiting team this season.
Pittsburgh currently has the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 26.8 percent of its extra-man advantages in 2017-18. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked seventh overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Pittsburgh’s players have been penalized 4.2 times per game this season, 4.4 per game over their last five outings total, and 4.0 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 8.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Matt Murray (.903 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray is averaging 25.1 saves per game and has 20 wins, 14 losses, and one overtime loss to his credit.
For the visiting Penguins, the offense will be coordinated by Phil Kessel (24 goals, 41 assists) and Evgeni Malkin (30 goals, 32 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars Betting Predictions
The under has hit in four of Dallas’ last five games.
Pittsburgh has managed 30.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Dallas is averaging 37.2 shots per game over its last five at home.
Power-play opportunities may have a key role in tonight’s game. The Penguins are 16-9 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-16 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Stars are 13-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 19-12 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Dallas is 3-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-1 in shootouts.
Dallas is ranked 25th with 5.9 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended lower lately, however, as the team has managed 4.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
Pittsburgh is ranked 21st in the league with 6.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as it’s created 7.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.0 takeaways over its last five.