The Dallas Stars (20-9-6) head out on the road for four of their next five out of the Christmas break, but they probably won’t mind that, considering they’ve gone a decent 3-1-1 in five away tilts in December and have picked up points in 13 of 18 contests away from the American Airlines Center this year (10-5-3).
The Nashville Predators (14-13-5) dropped seven of nine heading into the mini-break, but the lone bright spot in that is three of those defeats came in OT, so they at least tallied a point. Even an OTL on Tuesday would be a minor victory for the Predators considering they’re 0-2 against Dallas this season, being outscored by a combined 9-2.
Stars Aim for Consistency
Dallas has alternated wins and losses in their last five games and has a 4-3 mark overall in their last seven. The Stars don’t rattle off a lot of wins in a row – their longest streak of the year is three games – but they also haven’t lost more than two straight all season. That might sound like a mediocre team, but Dallas’ 46 points lead the Central, even though that’s the lowest point total of any division leader.
If the alternating wins and losses trend continues, then Nashville is in for a nice offensive night because the Stars’ last two defeats have come 5-4 at Carolina and 6-3 vs. Edmonton. Then again, it’s hard to see the Predators putting up those numbers considering they have one of the worst-scoring teams in the NHL (2.5 goals/game).
Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger got rocked last Wednesday, giving up five goals in the loss to the Oilers. That may have just been an anomaly against a talented offensive team, though, because he bounced back to stop 22 of 24 SOG against the Canadiens on Friday and has held opponents to two goals or less in his last five starts beside the Edmonton game.
Nashville Offense Coming Around a Bit?
When you’re fighting to avoid being one of the bottom three teams in the division, you’ll take any type of morale booster you can get. That’s Nashville’s approach right now, as they have picked up points in four of their last five (2-1-2). That includes three straight (2-0-1), with the Predators scoring four goals in each of their victories over Edmonton and Chicago.
Overall the Predators’ offense is still pretty shaky, but they have the defense that can keep them in it on Tuesday behind Juuse Saros.
Opponents haven’t scored more than three goals against Saros in his last seven starts, which is impressive considering he’s regularly facing 33+ SOG. Saros’ .914% save percentage is in the top half of the NHL.
Stars at Predators Pick
Will Dallas’ beatings of Nashville continue on Tuesday night after posting 5-1 and 4-1 wins so far this season? Prior to those games, the Predators had matched up pretty well as winners of five of the previous six, which included four straight wins in Nashville. That being said, the value is just too good on Dallas at -130.
Pick: Stars -130