Free NHL Picks: Bet On Well-Rested Stars -105 Against Blackhawks

Dana Lane

Friday, March 11, 2016 2:17 PM GMT

It's very simple here. The winner of the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars game will take over the lead in the Central Division. See my NHL pick inside. 

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars
It may not be for a long time but one of these two teams will be in first for at least a day because the team that has chased Dallas and Chicago all year, the St.Louis Blues, will travel to Dallas to take on the Stars Saturday night. A game that promises to rearrange the standings even more. 

Chicago has been very mediocre as of late going 3-3-1 in their last seven games. I say it all the time, watch the teams who change personality after the All-Star break. Watch how their moves affect the personality of a team. Acquisitions are much more than reading statistics. Team chemistry is an enormous factor in winning Stanley Cups.  

The Stars have been even worse with a 3-8 record including a horrible 4-3 road loss to the Montreal in overtime. It's a game that serious Cup contenders win

The Blackhawks penalty has become a glaring weakness. Since February 9th the Blackhawks have killed off just 61.1% of their short handed chances. It's the lowest mark in NHL during that span. They're are currently ranked 24th in the NHL. That's a big drop off from a PK that was ranked 10th last season and third in 2012-2013. 

One glaring difference is the teams willingness to block shots from the point. I can remember in both of the Hawks recent Cup wins that every shot was contested from top. We saw how their PK cost them 2 points against St.Louis, Wednesday, as they allowed two third period, power play goals to allow the Blues to grab the two points. In past years their kill would have won those types of games. 

The last time these two teams met Chicago goaltender, Corey Crawford, wasn't around to see the end. Crawford was pulled after only one period in a 4-3 loss to the Stars. He gave up four opening period goals, three to Patrick Eaves. 

Let's not forget Dallas played some shut down defense in the first meeting this season resulting in a 4-0 Stars win, one of the few statistical bright spots for goaltender Antti Niemi this year. He only faced 20 shots on the shutout. 

Niemi is the listed goaltender but back-up Kari Lehtonen may be a better choice. Lehtonen has started three straight games, stopping 41 of 44 shots in wins over New Jersey and Ottawa. Kari had 44 saves against Chicago in a winning effort, February 11th.

It has been confirmed by Dallas Head Coach, Lindy Ruff, that Patrick Sharp will not play due to a lower body injury. Sharp has missed the last three games and will not be available for Saturday's game against the Blues as well. At his age, I still think Sharp is a decent player but we have seen where he starts to wear down at this time of year. Ales Hemsky, who has three points in his two games, has played well on the right wing and may even be a sliver better right now so don't put improper emphasis on Sharp absence when handicapping. 

We're going to back the Stars as our NHL pick especially on two days rest while having ample time to prepare. The Stars are 17-5 on two days rest in their last 22 games, so don't miss the oppounity to cash in on this great pick and more on the NHL odds boards. @DanaLaneSports

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Free NHL Pick: Dallas -105
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes