Get The Sharp NHL Pick For Blues vs. Stars Game Five

Dana Lane

Saturday, May 7, 2016 12:02 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 7, 2016 12:02 PM GMT

Will the Blues or the Stars be one game away from the Western Conference Final? Read this informative betting preview to find the answer and to get the Free NHL Pick on the game.

There's a simple reason why there is a revolving door between Dallas goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. It's because neither is very good or consistent. Niemi is 0-3 in his last three starts with a 3.88 goals against average and a .839 save percentage. He is a guy who had good numbers when playing in Finland for the Pelicans but has never been able to be a reliable number one guy in the NHL. 

His Finnish teammate Kari Lehtonen has a resume that mirrors Niemi's in many ways. His best days were spent playing for Jokerit in Finland with a solid American Hockey League career at the Chicago Wolves. The point is, both of these guys are exactly what their history indicates, back-ups at best which is why they continue to rotate. Even so you can bet that Lindy Ruff will have the veteran Lehtonen in net for game five. 

Lehtonen was in goal for game four's 3-2 victory but only faced 26 shots while allowing two goals. It was the first time in three games that the Stars had a goaltender start and finish the game. 

The Stars will be home hoping for a repeat of game one, which resulted in a 2-1 Dallas win, rather than game two which saw the Blues tie the series at one. The Blues and Stars have split four games at the American Airlines Center. 

As I'm sure you know by now I'm all about betting the better special teams unit and at this point there isn't any comparison. The Blues Have converted 5 of their last 15 man advantage opportunities after a 1-3 effort in game four. On the flip side St. Louis has killed off 13 of their last 14 penalty kills. 

The injury statues of Tyler Seguin and Patrick Eaves remains the same. Neither will play in game five. With Eaves out of the lineup the Stars will be without of their top penalty killers which should help keep the Blues power play powerful. Blues sniper, Vladimir Tarasenko, is finding his groove after leading the teams postseason scoring with 11 points but Tarasenko has yet to find the scoresheet playing at Dallas.

We talk about controlling the face off circle and that edge goes to the Blues, well, the edge goes to head coach Ken Hitchcock who is doing a masterful job of creating the correct match-ups. Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen, and Troy Brouwer have been matched up against Cody Eakin, Jamie Benn, and Patrick Sharp which has resulted in Stastny winning almost 57% of the face offs from Eakin.  

From a trend perspective it's difficult to go against the Blues at +115 on NHL odds, as they have won 20 of their last 29 games and seem to have a propensity for winning games on Saturdays owning a 64-27 record in their last 91 games. They now have beaten the Stars in 8 of their last 11 meetings and 5 of their last seven in Dallas, so we'll add the Blues as one of our NHL picks for the day. 

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Free NHL Pick: Blues +115
Best Line Offered:  at Intertops

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