Fighting for a playoff spot in the congested Western Conference, the Dallas Stars take on one of the top teams in the NHL when they visit the Metropolitan Division leading Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. The Stars enter the week with a few games in hand on the teams directly in front of them in the wild card standings, but that means nothing if they don’t take advantage of the situation. Doing that on Thursday is going to be difficult since the Canes have the fewest home losses of any team in the Eastern Conference.
The NHL contest between the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 24, 2022, from PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC and will air live on ESPN. BookMaker.eu will have odds for every game on the Thursday NHL schedule.
NHL Betting Lines at BookMaker.eu
The Stars snapped out of a recent skid that cost them ground in the playoff race by beating Washington, 3-2, over the weekend. They climbed within spitting distance of the second wild card with just their second victory in six games. The Washington game was encouraging since the Stars have had problems winning on the road. Even with that victory they are just 14-16-2 in away games putting them $415 in the red on the moneyline. Teams competing for a Stanley Cup typically have a strong defense and special teams. That’s not the case in Dallas. The Stars rank in the middle of the NHL pack in goals against and kill only 78.2 percent of opponent’s power plays. They did cash the OVER in six of eight games prior to playing below the total in D.C.
While they remain the best team in the Metro and one of the best in the NHL, the margin has shrunk. A 2-0 loss to the Rangers on Sunday sent the Canes to their first four-game losing streak of the season (0-3-1) and stopped a 14-game points streak on home ice. The uplifting part about the skid is that Rod Brind’Amour said his team played well enough to win three of those games. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. I guess that’s to be expected for a team that dominated most of the season. At 41-15-6 the Canes have been a profitable bet all season up $490 on the moneyline. Their recent bouts with scoring while maintaining the best goals against average has made UNDER bettors a winner in seven of the last nine Carolina games.
Rick Bowness cited too many goals against as the reason for making changes to his defense pairings. It was a subtle move with Joel Hanley replacing Thomas Harley on the back line, but it paid off on Sunday with the club allowing just a pair of goals to Washington. It was the first time in five games they gave up fewer than three goals and only the second time in nine outings. You don’t often see a team that wins over 55 percent of its games have a negative goal differential, but the Stars are minus-3 in that department.
The offense has gotten a lift from Jason Robertson, who scored consecutive hat tricks earlier this month and has 30 goals and 56 points in 53 games. The Stars also got a hat trick from Roope Hintz in their 4-1 win over the Canes back in November.
Sometimes you play a strong game and don’t win. That’s happened to the Canes over the last few games. They carried the play most of the night and outshot the Rangers 44-18 on Sunday yet still suffered a 2-0 setback. Things didn’t bounce their way so there’s no reason for fans to get alarmed over the recent 0-3-1 skid. “That was probably one of our better games all year. Their goalie played great and that’s end of story,” Brind’Amour after the New York game. With moneyline wins in over 66 percent of their games the Canes are one of the best bets and one of the best teams in the NHL.
It starts with a sound defensive structure and strong penalty kill. Carolina allows a league-low 2.37 goals per game while boasting the top PK at 89.1 percent. Teams rarely find the back of the net leading the Canes to play below the total in 33 of their 62 games. They’ve hit a drought offensively with a pair of shutouts in their last nine games while averaging just 2.0 goals in that span.
NHL Odds Pick
Even in defeat the Canes work hard and that won’t change on Thursday. They are also one of the best home teams in the NHL while the Stars have struggled to win away from home. I don’t see a lot of goals being scored with Carolina locking down to get out of their tailspin and the Stars playing a tight checking road tilt. I do see the Canes breaking through offensively to get the win, though.
NHL Odds Prediction: Carolina 3, Dallas 2
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