NHL Picks: Stars vs. Canucks

David Schwab

Friday, February 15, 2013 3:47 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 3:47 PM GMT

The Dallas Stars will wrap-up a three-game road trip north of the border with a Friday night clash against the red-hot Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. (PT) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.

Stars Betting Overview

Dallas was rolling right along with a four-game winning streak, but it all came to a screeching halt in a 7-4 loss to Calgary on Wednesday night as a 127 road underdog. The total went well over the 5.5 line, but it has ended as a PUSH in three of its previous four road games. The Stars (7-6-1) are now tied with St. Louis for seventh-place in the Western Conference with 15 points.

Scoring has not been an issue for Dallas over the past five games with 17 goals. This was after it averaged less than two goals a game in its first nine outings. The offseason acquisition of 40-year old veteran Jaromir Jagr has been well worth the risk considering he leads the team in points with four goals and seven assists. Defensively, the Stars are allowing 2.6 goals behind the solid play of Kari Lehtonen in goal. He currently has a goals-against-average of 2.17 and is expected to get the start on Friday night.

Canucks Betting Overview

Overcoming a slow-start out of the gate, Vancouver has now won its last six games to improve to 8-2-2 on the year and 5-1-1 at home. It now has a five-point lead over Edmonton in the Northwest Division with a total of 18 points. The Canucks have given-up a combined six goals during this run so it is easy to see why the total has stayed UNDER in four of the six games.

Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have split time in goal this season. Luongo has clearly established himself as the top dog with a GAA of 1.45 to go along with a .943 save percentage, but Schneider could get the call in this one. Overall, the Canucks are ranked third in the NHL in goals allowed (1.9). The Sedin brothers continue to lead the way on offense. Daniel leads the team in points with three goals and seven assists while Henrik has posted a team-high eight assists. Vancouver is averaging 2.8 goals-per-game.

Stars vs. Canucks- NHL Betting Odds and Trends

NHL odds makers have opened the Canucks as 191 home favorites on the money line with Dallas listed as 173 road underdogs. The total for this game has been set at 5.0.

The Stars are just 16-36 in their last 52 games against a team with a winning record; however they are 13-5 in their last 18 games against the Northwest Division.

The Canucks have lost four of their last five games against the Pacific Division but they are 40-18 in their last 58 games playing on two day’s rest. The total has stayed under in five of their last six games at home.

This will be the first meeting this season, but Dallas has lost eight of the last 10 games between the two. It is just 1-6 in the last seven games played in Vancouver and the total has gone over in nine of the last 11 games there.

[gameodds]7/218519/43/us[/gameodds]

Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks - Free NHL Pick

Dallas has done a much better job scoring goals as of late, but it could be running into a real buzz saw in this matchup. Vancouver has clearly returned to form and is well-rested for this game. The best choice for our NHL picks in this contest is to give the 1.5 goals and take the Canucks at +155 on the puck line.

Vancouver 4     Dallas 2   (lines provided by BetOnline)

YTD NHL Free Picks Record: 16-3-2
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