The Montreal Canadiens can win because…
They have an All-Star caliber goalie in Carey Price. Although December was his worst month of the young season so far (2.45 GAA, .916 save percentage), Price has been phenomenal otherwise. Even in his worst month, his GAA was better than Stars starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen’s full season mark of 2.46.
What the Habs need to do to get back on track is get their offense going. They average 3.17 in their wins and just 1.50 in their losses. The good news is that Dallas allows 2.79 goals per game, which is the fifth-most in the Western Conference, so that should facilitate an easier night for the Habs.
The Dallas Stars can win because…
Lately, they’ve played particularly well at home. On the year, their home record reads 9-9 but they have actually won four of their last five at the American Airlines Center. Some of those wins have been quite impressive as they’ve topped Colorado, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Montreal is in a bit of a slump right now as they’ve lost two straight and six of 10. Based on momentum alone, the Stars are the better choice for our NHL picks.
Outlook & Pick
This will be the final stop of a six-game road trip for the Canadiens and so far, it hasn’t been pretty. The Canadiens do have two wins in the first five cities but they needed overtime to scrape those out.
Given the way the two teams are playing heading into this contest and the fact that you don’t need to lay a whole lot with the Stars on the NHL odds, I’ll ride with them on Thursday night.
Pick: Stars -115 at 5Dimes