The Dallas Stars (10-10-8) are set to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (23-6-2) at Amalie Arena in a Stanley Cup rematch of last year.
Tampa Bay is coming off beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Sunday. Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde both scored and added an assist in the win. The Lightning have now won four in a row and hold the best record in the NHL.
While Tampa Bay sits first in the Central Division, Dallas comes in at seventh, although it still has games in hand thanks to its season being halted early on due to COVID-19.
Looking at the NHL odds for this one, the Lightning have a moneyline of -165, while the Stars are at +145. The over/under has been set at 5½ goals.
Both teams come into this one with top defenses in the NHL. Dallas ranks sixth in goals allowed, and Tampa Bay comes in at fifth.
They can each thank their goaltenders for those stats as well. Both teams also give up an average of fewer than 28 shots a game.
Andrei Vasilevsky is well on his way to winning another Vezina Trophy, sporting a save percentage of .933 for Tampa Bay. Anton Khudobin continues to be steady for Dallas, splitting time with Jake Oettinger.
Khudobin is expected to start in net Tuesday night for the Stars, holding a GAA of 2.48 and a save percentage of .909. Three-time Vezina finalist Ben Bishop hasn’t played a game in 2021 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus following the 2020 Final.
Dallas Stars Need To Find Scoring
So far in 2021, veteran Joe Pavelski has been the main source of offense for the Stars. Pavelski is turning the clock back at age 36 with 14 goals and 14 assists in 28 games.
Captain Jamie Benn has struggled, however, with only five goals on the season. Dallas has also missed star winger Tyler Seguin, who’s been sidelined the entire year while recovering from right hip arthroscopy and labral repair following the Stanley Cup Final last year.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has had no trouble finding the back of the net. Even without the presence of Nikita Kucherov in 2021, the Lightning rank first in the league in scoring, averaging 3.68 goals a game.
Defenseman Victor Hedman has 32 points in 31 games, and Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos both have 30 points as well.
Along with Seguin and Kucherov missing, Alex Radulov, Blake Comeau, and Andrew Cogliano and Ryan McDonagh are listed as day-to-day. Mitchell Stephens is listed out with a knee injury.
Dallas is 4-2-4 over its last 10 games, while Tampa Bay is 7-2-1.
The Stars’ last game was a loss to the Nashville Predators in the shootout on Sunday. With 28 games remaining in the season, they need to outperform Chicago and Columbus to qualify for the postseason. Dallas has four games in hand on both the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets.
On the year, Dallas has a better goal differential than both teams but has left a lot of both points on the board, with a measly 2-8 record in overtime and the shootout. If the season ends and Dallas isn’t in the top four of the Central, that will be the reason why.
The last time these two teams played another, it was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay won that game 2-0, earning its first Stanley Cup since 2004.
Dallas will be out to exact revenge and certainly have a lot to play for, considering it is still in the playoff race. Betting against the Lightning hasn’t gone well for many in 2021, so I like leaning towards a good defensive battle Tuesday night.
When doing your NHL betting, take the under in this one.