The Dallas Stars played their game last night, as the grinded away at the Calgary Flames for a 3-1 win at the Saddledome. Joe Pavelski was the big winner of the night with 2 goals on Cam Talbot. Ben Bishop was sharp with 24 saves on 25 shots between the pipes. The Stars have quietly been piling up the wins recently. They’ve won eight of their last ten and are back to playing their brand of hockey. It wasn’t a pretty start to the season for the Stars. They were out of sorts and needed a minute to get settled in.
Dallas opened the year with wins in just one of nine games. It was rather perplexing to watch this team get hammered every night, and this was against some bad teams on occasion as well. The Blue Jackets and Red Wings both knocked off the Stars during their early downturn. I will say, though, it’s best to get the kinks out of the way early in the year. A slump later on can be a season killer for a team.
The Stars are banking on Corey Perry getting his season going. If he can do that, then the Stars turn into a real dangerous threat. Perry has scored just 2 goals and 2 helpers for only 4 points in 11 games. His first goal came on October 19th against the Flyers and the second had to wait until November 5th against the Avalanche. Pavelski has netted 5 goals and 5 assists, two of which came last night against the Flames.
They take on a Canucks team who are coming off a nice 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Things opened up in the 3rd period and the Canucks were able to outlast the Predators in what turned into a back and forth affair. Vancouver head into Thursday with a record of 10-6-2. They’ve been a tricky opponent at home for the visitor, so we’ll see what the Stars have to give on a back-to-back. Head below for our free Stars vs. Canucks pick.
Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Odds:
The Matchup and Prediction:
Elias Pettersson celebrated his 21st birthday with two goals against the Predators. Pettersson was held off the stat sheet in his prior two games, but exploded to lead the Canucks to a 2-goal victory. He is just one asset in a youth movement in Vancouver. After suffering through a few bad years, Canucks’ fans are going to be rewarded in the coming years.
With Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes all younger than 25 years old, they should be feeling good about their squad. J.T. Miller is the elder at just 26. The low mileage on their legs should assist them against a Stars team who might be dragging their legs a bit on a back-to-back following a physical contest in Calgary.
The Canucks have been playing lights out hockey at Rogers Arena this season. They’ve gone 5-1-2 with two losses in a shootout against the Blues and Capitals accounting for two of their losses at home. In their other loss, it was another 1-goal game by a score of 2-1 against the Devils.
They’ve either won or have been competitive in each of their efforts in Vancouver. In eight games at Rogers Arena, the offence has racked up an average of 4.25 goals per game, while defensively they’ve been sharp as well with 2.73 goals against. The Stars are certainly going to be tested on tired legs in this one.
Dallas have struggled mightily to generate scoring chances on the road. They’ve notched only 2.33 goals per game, and I think they are going to have to find an offensive sparkplug here. Bishop will have the night off between the pipes, as backup Anton Khudobin will assume the space in the crease this evening. Khudobin has been good with a 2.43 GAA and 0.915 save percentage, but he’s been off that mark on the road, posting a 2.77 GAA as a visiting netminder. It’s also a drop off from Bishop, who owns a 2.12 GAA and 0.93 save percentage.
With the Stars struggling to score on the road, they’ve depended on the defence to carry the load. It’s tough to expect the Stars to play at that level of play defensively against a red-hot Canucks’ offence on a back-to-back with Khudobin in net. They might play a serviceable game in that regard, but 3 goals for the Canucks is all it will likely take for a loss. I’m on the Canucks to record a 4-2 or 3-2 win on Thursday night at Rogers Arena.