NHL Picks: Can Stars Overcome Blues' Home Advantage?

Dana Lane

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Sharp cappers are saying The Blues will feed off the home crowd in tonight's victory. Are they Right? Read on to find the answer and a spot-on NHL Pick.

Winning the battle of special teams is sometimes as simple as just playing fundamentally sound hockey. Staying out of the box means as much as killing off a power play. With Dallas owning one of the best power plays in the league keeping them from using it is why the Blues are even with Dallas at one game a piece heading back to the ScottsTrade Center for game three.

Through two games the Stars have had just seven power play opportunity for a total of just 12 minutes and nine seconds. Of all the teams that advanced to the second round, the Blues if the worst PK numbers killing off only 31.5% of Chicago's penalties.

The key for a Blues victory is to get some top line scoring out of someone not named Backes. Even though the series is tied at one game Vladimir Tarasenko has yet to play a major role on the scoresheet as he has been held scoreless in his last three games and despite getting over 20 minutes of ice time in his last two games the third yeard winger has just five total shots. There still may be lingering effects from the spat on the bench between Tarasenko and head coach Ken Hitchcock over playing time but now he is getting his stadard minutes it's time to prduce.

We're backing the Blues tonight because I don't feel we've seen the best from them yet at least not offensively and while the Stars generally got better as the game progressed in the regular season that late magic hasn't been there in the playoffs. During the postseason the Stars are at even in goal differencial in the third period. By comparison during the regular season the Stars were a +22 which was easily their best period. Some of that can be attributed to the fact they were ahead on most contest and had the advantage of the empty net goals at the end.

Hystorically the Blues have had success against Dallas at home. In the last ten seasons St.Louis owns a 28-16 home record which is a big sample size but still provides a small mental edge.

As of now it appears that Lindy Ruff is still undecided as to who will start in goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen started game two but was pulled and replaced by Antti Niemi after giving up three goals on only five shots. The lack of two solid goaltenders has been hurting Dallas all season and it cost them in game two.

From a trend perspective the Blues have now won 19 of their last 27 games and 12 of their last 16 against the Western Conference. The 'over' has cashed at a 17-7-2 rate in the Stars last 26 road games.

It appears we are going to get the best of the NHL odds as the game opened St. Louis -135 and and now has been bet down to -130 in most spots but get the total now if you like the 'over' because most of the money has forced the 'over' money as high as -140. There are some 5.5 numbers out there at plus money so perhaps shop for those for your NHL picks on this game.

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Free NHL Pick:  Blues -130 & Over 5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
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