The NHL is set up with an action packed slate of games throughout April 3. Eleven games will be up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these matchups will be between the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes. These two teams are on opposite sides of the standings so far, but I expect a good matchup in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM eastern time on NHL Network.
Dallas has started out this season with a record of 12-12-10, which has them sitting in seventh place of the Central Division. The Stars are only five points outside of the fourth seed and will look to catch up with a big win in this one. Dallas is coming off a win in their last game, which ended a three game losing streak. The Stars will look to build on that win in this one.
The Hurricanes have put up a record of 24-8-3 throughout this season, which has them in third place of the Central Division. Carolina is only one point behind the first and second seed with a game in hand. The Hurricanes will look to jump into that top spot with a win in this one. Carolina earned a win in their last game and have won four of their last five.
These two teams are sitting in opposite sides of the Central Division, but the Stars are not out of the playoff picture. Dallas has struggled to find momentum this season, but are hanging on with those overtime points. Carolina is looking to sneak into the top spot of the Central with a win. I expect a good game between these two teams as they look for a huge win.
The Stars and the Hurricanes have already met up four times throughout this season. Carolina hosted the first game on January 30. Joe Pavelski scored the lone goal for Dallas, which was not enough. Vincent Trocheck had two goals and an assist, while Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas each had two assists. James Reimer stopped 10 of 11 shots as the Hurricanes earned a 4-1 win.
Carolina also hosted the second game of the season series on January 31. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist as the Stars were able to force extra time. Jordan Staal finished with a goal and an assist as well. Dougie Hamilton and Vincent Trocheck both scored in the shootout to help lift the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win at home in this one.
The third game of the season series shifted to Dallas on February 11. Denis Gurianov and Jason Robertson each finished with two assists, which was not enough for the win. Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal both had a goal and an assist on the night. James Reimer finished with 34 saves on 37 shots to help lead Carolina to a 5-3 win on the road.
The fourth game of the season series stayed in Dallas on February 13. Jason Dickinson, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson all scored for the Stars, but it still was not enough. Jake Gardiner finished with two assists on the night. Vincent Trocheck scored the winner in the shootout to help lift the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win to go up 4-0 in the season series.
Dallas has been solid on the power play throughout this season. The Stars have scored on 27 of their 110 power play attempts, which is a 24.6 percent success rate. Dallas has not found the same success on the penalty kill. The Stars have killed off 79 of the 103 penalties against them, which is a 76.7 percent penalty kill. Dallas will need to step up with a man down if they want to move up the standings.
The Hurricanes have been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. Carolina has capitalized on 32 of their 108 power play chances, which is a 29.6 percent power play. The Hurricanes have given up 20 goals on their opponents 117 power play opportunities, which is an 82.9 percent kill rate. Carolina will look to keep up their success on both sides of special teams.
Carolina has the edge on special teams throughout this season. The Hurricanes have put up the better power play and penalty kill so far this season. The Stars have struggled on the penalty kill throughout this season and will look to step up as the final stretch approaches. If either team can cash in with the man advantage in this one, it could be enough to earn a much needed win.
I expect Anton Khudobin to get the start in the net for the Stars on Saturday night. Khudobin has started in 20 games this season, going 7-9-4 throughout those starts. He has posted a .908 save percentage and a 2.48 GAA. Khudobin finished with 21 saves on 22 shots in his last start against the Nashville Predators, which was enough for the win.
James Reimer will likely get the nod between the pipes for Carolina in this one. Reimer has earned a record of 14-4-1 throughout his 19 games played this season. He has put up a save percentage of .905 and a GAA of 2.71 in those games. Reimer’s last start was against the Chicago Blackhawks, where he stopped 22 of 25 shots in the winning effort.
These two goalies have put up similar numbers throughout this season. Reimer’s record has been quite a bit better, but Khudobin’s save percentage and GAA has been better. Khudobin has lost four of his last five starts and will look to earn a big win in this one. If Dallas can give Khudobin some help on offense, it could help them earn a win in this one.
The Hurricanes have been the better team throughout this season and it has shown. Carolina has won all four games against the Stars so far this season. Dallas will look to bounce back in this one though. The Stars will need Khudobin to build on his last outing in this one. If Dallas can get some power play goals as well, I think they can pull off the upset in this one.
BetOnline has the Hurricanes listed as a -155 against the money line in this one. This implies that Carolina will win this game around 60.8 percent of the time. The Hurricanes have earned this line with how they have played throughout this season. I think that the Stars will come out strong in this one as they see their window for a playoff push closing. I like the value on Dallas in this one.