The NHL has eleven games on the board for Tuesday night. One of the games will be between Central Division rivals in the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues. The Stars are currently sitting inside the playoff picture, while St. Louis is sitting much lower in the standings. The game will be on at 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Stars have started out the season with a record of 22-17-4, which has them in third place of the Central Division. Dallas will look to hold onto their playoff spot for this second half of the season. The Stars lost their last game and four of their last six games. Dallas will look to keep the recent success going with a win on the road against the Blues.
St. Louis has put up a record of 17-19-4 this season. The Blues have earned the seventh spot in the Central Division to this point in the season. St. Louis won their last game on Monday night, but have lost three of their last five. The Blues could be a little tired after playing in Philadelphia only the night before. St. Louis will look to use their momentum to get a win at home on Tuesday night.
Tuesday night’s matchup between the Stars and the Blues will be the first of the season series. Dallas and St. Louis will meet up again three more times this season on January 12, February 21 and March 2. The Stars have been the better team up to this point in the season and they will look for this to help lead them to a win against the Blues on Tuesday night.
Last Season’s Matchups
The Stars and the Blues met up a total of five times last season. St. Louis hosted the first two matchups of the season series, winning 4-2 and 3-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the season series. The last three games of the season series shifted back to Dallas, where the Stars went 3-0 with wins by the scores of 4-2, 2-1 and 3-2. That helped Dallas finish with a 3-2 series win last season.
The Stars had a 3-2 series win over St. Louis last season, but both teams finished outside of the playoff picture. Dallas finished with 92 points in the season, while the Blues finished with 94 points on the season. Each team won all their home games in the season series last season, but I believe that could change on Tuesday night with the Stars having a good chance to pull off the road upset.
The Stars have put up solid numbers on special teams so far this season. Dallas has been above average on the power play this season. The Stars have scored on 21.6 percent of their power play chances. Dallas’s penalty kill has been just as strong, stopping their opponent’s on 82.6 percent of their power play chances.
St. Louis’ power play and penalty kill have both been below the league average when it comes to percentage. The Blues power play has been converting at a rate of 19.7 percent. St. Louis’ penalty kill has stopped their opponents on 79.6 percent of their power play opportunities. The Blues will need their special teams to step up if they want to pull off the win on Tuesday night.
Dallas has the clear edge against the Blues when it comes to special teams. The Stars are slightly above average on both the power play and the penalty kill, while both sides of St. Louis’ special teams are slightly below the league average. Dallas will look for their special teams play to help give them the necessary advantage to get the win on the road on Tuesday night.
I expect Ben Bishop to get the nod in net for Dallas on Tuesday night. Bishop has a record of 14-10-2 in his starts so far this season. He has posted a .921 save percentage and a GAA of 2.41 in those 26 games started. Bishop has been a really strong backbone for this Stars teams, which is exactly what Dallas has needed over the last couple of seasons.
Jake Allen will likely start in net against the Stars on Tuesday night. Allen has put up a save percentage of .898 and a GAA of 3.07 this season. In his 31 games played this season, Allen has a record of 14-13-4. Allen has put up a decent record, but his numbers have not been good this season. He will need to do much better if the Blues want to get the win at home.
Bishop has been doing much better this season in comparison to Allen. I believe that this gives a huge advantage to the Stars on Tuesday night. Bishop’s numbers have been strong enough to put him in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy. With Jordan Binnington playing last night, I believe that even if Allen struggles again, the Blues will likely not pull him.
Last season, in the season series between the Stars and the Blues, the home team always won. I believe that this will change on Tuesday night. Dallas has a nice edge with special teams and goaltending over the Blues. St. Louis is also coming off a game on Monday night, which could lead to a slow start or a bumpy finish if they are tired. This is their third game in four nights, which I believe will lead to a loss.
BetOnline has the Blues listed as a -108 against the money line. St. Louis is implied to win this game about 52 percent of the time. This game is close to even, but even with the Stars on the road, I believe they should be favored. The Blues are coming off a game the night before, which I believe will play a factor in Tuesday night’s matchup. Dallas also has some solid advantages over St. Louis. I am taking the Stars on the road.