NHL Picks: St. Louis Feeling Blue As Dallas Stars Shine Bright

Bruce Webster

Sunday, December 27, 2015 1:57 PM GMT

The St. Louis Blues face the Dallas Stars on Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Join in as we preview this matchup and give you our best NHL picks.

St Louis Blues (21-11-3-1 SU, 15-21 PL, 12-19-5 OU) vs. Dallas Stars (26-7-1-1 SU, 20-15 PL, 18-17 OU)
Lines: Dallas -131/ St Louis +121
Total: 5.5
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Free NHL Pick: Dallas
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Allen Saves 32 in Shutout of Boston
St Louis goalie Jake Allen has had a very solid year, and prior to the game vs Dallas on Saturday night, he pitched a 2-0 shutout vs the high powered Boston Bruins. Allen is now 16-10 on the year with a 2.06 GAA and it was his 5th shutout of the year. The five shutouts this year equals the five shutouts that he had in his first two years in the league combined. He is having a heck of a year so far. He is slated to start the game on Saturday night, so it will be Brian Elliott that gets the call in this one. Elliot comes in at 5-5 with a 2.40 GAA overall, including 3-3 with a 2.64 GAA on the road, while vs the Stars he has gone 5-3 with a 3.09 GAA in his career.

Scoring for the Blues in the win over Boston was Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Fabbri, with both goals coming in the third period. Tarasenko is now tied for the league lead in goals with Jamie Benn at 22 and he is also tied for 5th in points at 38. St Louis checks in at 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.5 gpg, while converting on 21.2%of their power play chances, which is 6th in the league. On defense they have been very strong, ranking 6th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg and 2nd in penalty kill (87.3%). A little more offense and this will be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.

 

Antti Niemi Stops 20 in Shutout of Blackhawks
That’s all the league needs is for Dallas to start blanking teams. Right now it is their mediocre play in the crease that has me thinking that Washington is clearly the most complete team in the league. Dallas can score a ton, but they also come into this game ranked just 12th in goals allowed, giving up 2.5 gpg, plus they are just 18th in the league in penalty kill at 80.2%. Well, on Tuesday night Antti Niemi stepped up with his 3rd shutout of the year in a 4-0 win over the Blackhawks. He is now 15-7 with a 2.30 GAA on the year, and should he start this game, he is 9-9 with a 2.95 GAA vs the Blues in his career.

Should it be Kari Lehtonen getting this start in this one, then he is 11-2 with a 2.66 GAA overall, while vs the Blues he has gone 12-8 with a 2.20 GAA in his career. Patrick Sharp was the main offensive start in the win over Chicago as he scored a goal and also had an assist. Jamie Benn had an assist in the game as well and is tied for 2nd in the league in points with teammate Tyler Seguin at 46. The offense for the Stars in the best in the league as they have averaged 3.5 gpg and they come in having scored 16 goals in their last three games. The Stars are also 3rd in power play conversions (23.3%).

Trends for St Louis:
None Available

 

Trends for Dallas:
21-5 in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record
5-1 in their last six vs the Central

 

Betting Analysis
This play should even be stronger since the Blues took the game last night. Dallas is the better team here, especially at home. This should also be a battle of backups, and I give Lehtonen the edge over Elliott any day. Both teams will be playing on no rest and will be traveling, so no advantage goes to either team in that respect, but I do feel that Dallas is better equipped to handle the situation as they have better depth and the NHL odds show as much. Look for this one to go the way of the Stars for your NHL picks.

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