The NHL is set up with another great slate of games throughout May 3. Fourteen games will be up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers. These two teams have been solid this season and will look to earn a big win in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
Dallas has put up a record of 21-17-13 throughout this season, which has them in fifth place of the Central Division. The Stars are three points behind the Nashville Predators with a game in hand. Dallas has lost three games in a row and four of their last five. The Stars will need to bounce back with a big win in this one.
The Panthers have posted a record of 34-14-5 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in third place of the Central Division. Florida is tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with one less game played. The Panthers are also two points behind the division leading Hurricanes. Florida has won three games in a row and seven of their last nine.
These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look for a huge two points in this one. Florida is trying to catch the top seed in the Central Division, while the Stars are looking to grab the final playoff spot in the Central. Both teams will look to control the pace early in this one as they look to earn a huge win on Monday night.
The Stars and Panthers have met up seven times so far this season. The first three games were in Florida between February 22 and 25. Chris Driedger stopped 24 of 25 shots in his first game as the Panthers won 3-1. Joe Pavelski had two assists in the second game as Dallas bounced back with a 3-0 win. Florida scored three goals in the third period in the third game to earn a 3-2 win on the night.
The fourth and fifth game of the season series were in Dallas on March 27 and 28. Carter Verhaeghe scored three goals and an assist, while Noel Acciari had two assists in the fourth game. The Panthers earned a big 4-3 win in overtime. Jonathan Huberdeau had two goals and an assist in the fifth game to lift Florida to a 4-1 win on the night.
Dallas hosted the sixth and seventh game of the season series as well on April 10 and 13. Jason Robertson had two goals, while Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski both had two assists in the sixth game. The Stars earned a big 4-1 win at home. Frank Vatrano scored the overtime winner for the Panthers as Florida bounced back with a 3-2 win on the road.
These two teams will meet for the final time this season on Monday night. Florida has won five of the first seven games against the Stars and will look to finish strong. Dallas needs these two points though if they want to stay in the playoff race and I expect them to come out hungry. If either team can step up early in this one, it could be enough for the win.
The Stars have been strong on the power play throughout this season. Dallas has capitalized on 35 of their 149 power play opportunities, which is a 23.5 percent success rate. The Stars have been around middle of the league on the penalty kill. Dallas has given up 28 power play goals on 135 penalties against, which is a 79.3 percent penalty kill.
Florida has been solid on the power play so far this season. The Panthers have scored on 27 of their 175 power play chances, which is a 21.1 percent power play. Florida has struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. The Panthers have killed off 133 of their opponents 156 power play attempts, which is a 78.9 percent kill rate.
Dallas has the edge on special teams in this one with the stronger power play and penalty kill. The Stars have drawn less penalties than Florida, but has also taken less penalties. Both teams will look to stay out of the box in this one. If either team can capitalize on the man advantage though, it could be enough for a win in this one.
I expect Anton Khudobin to get the start in the crease for Dallas in this one. Khudobin has earned a record of 11-10-7 through his 29 starts this season. He has posted a save percentage of .910 and a 2.39 GAA on the season. Khudobin’s last start was against the Nashville Predators, where he stopped 33 of 34 shots in the losing effort.
Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the nod between the pipes for the Panthers on Monday night. Bobrovsky has started in 29 games this season, going 18-8-2 so far. He has put up a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 2.97 in his games played. Bobrovsky finished with 31 saves on 35 shots in his last start against the Blackhawks, which was enough for the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. Khudobin is coming off a tough loss after only allowing one goal to Nashville. The Stars will need to get the offense going in this one though. If Dallas can put pressure on Bobrovsky early, they could catch him on an off night for the two points.
The Stars are playing for their playoff hopes right now, while Florida has already clinched. I think that this will lead Dallas to pull off the upset on Monday night. The Stars do not have a lot of chances left, but I think they will step up in this one. Dallas has the edge on special teams and in net, which I think will help them grab the win in this matchup.
BetOnline has Florida listed as a -140 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Panthers will win this game around 58.3 percent of the time. Florida has been the better team this season, but I think that the Stars have more to play for. I think Dallas is already in playoff hockey mode as they fight for the last spot, which could help them earn a big win on the road in this one.