Stars vs. Flames NHL Picks: Will Dallas be Aggressive Enough to Clinch a Spot on the Playoffs?

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

With just 9 games remaining in the season, the Los Angeles Kings upset of the Rangers killed the Dallas Stars slim hopes of making the playoffs. Tonight, the Stars are in a must win position as the Calgary Flames have a 6 point lead over the Stars and appear secure in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference as the Flames and Kings both have 86 points. See who we like in this matchup as our betting pick.

Face-off is set for 10:00 pm ET at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Speaking of Flames, the Dallas Stars have been playing like a ball of flames, winners of 8 out of their last 10. They aren't a team to be taken lightly in tonight's matchup. NHL betting odds makers aren't dumb, as Calgary is a slim -125 betting favorite at home. Both teams need this game, therefore I expect ruthless aggression from both respective squads.

 

Which Kari Prevails?
It's unconfirmed and their names are spelled differently, but the Stars should send out Kari Lehtonen while the Flames will have Karri Ramo between the pipes. All of the splits points to the Flames. They are 19-6-1 in the division, 26-13-2 in the conference, 21-13-3 at home, and 6-2-2 in their last game. Lehtonen will need to to be unstoppable tonight.

In his last 8 games, Kari Lehtonen has been outstanding at 7-1 with a 1.98 GAA, but shall we forget his subpar play this season? That said, he's already faced the Flames this season and hosed them down, allowing just 1 goal in a victory.

Lehtonen was able to keep the winning going, but he did allow 3 goals to a lousy Buffalo Sabres team in a 4-3 victory. Lehtonen is a mixed bag of tricks. I'm going to go with the momentum factor and right now, he's playing as good as any goalie in the game.

It will be Karri Ramo's job to stop the 2nd highest goal scoring team in the league and defense will be the key to the game for the Flames. Ramo has only played in 31 games and at 15-8-2 with a 2.53 GAA, I give the edge to Lehtonen due to recent performances. This could be a golden opportunity for the Stars to make up 2 points on the Flames with very little time remaining in the regular season.

Get your cash flowing with these NHL picks on the Money Line & Total!

Tyler Seguin
The Stars have two studs in leading scorer, Jamie Benn (70 points) and Tyler Seguin. Seguin is the go to guy where putting the puck past the goalie is concerned.

He has 33 goals on the season to go along with 32 assists. In the previous matchup against the Flames, Seguin contributed with an assist. Seguin has had a point in each of his last 3 games (1 goal, 2 assists) and had an assist against Calgary in a game previously. You would have to expect that he will be a factor in this game as it's pretty close to win or go home.

 

Jamie Benn is Questionable
A lot of pressure will be on the Stars if Jamie Benn is unable to play. He was unable to skate yesterday and I wouldn't expect him to play tonight. In his last 11 games, he has 10 points, Someone needs to make up for that production or the Stars season might be finished. This is also a player that had a goal and an assist in his last meeting against Calgary. If he can skate, pain or not, he will play.

Sure, we have a short schedule tonight but that doesn't mean there isn't any value picks!

Beasting!
Calgary's leading scorer, Jiri Hudler, has been a flatout beast and a major reason why the Flames should make the playoffs. In his last 11 games, (month of March) Hudler has 8 goals and 9 assists. In his last 3 games, he has 2 goals and 3 assists. Now that's a way to finish a season! Hudler also has the assistance of power play specialist, Sean Monahan, who has 10 power play goals.

My only concern here is Ramo in net and Benn's status. I look for the Stars to find a way to win this game with or without Jamie Benn. After all, they're the 2nd leading goals scoring team in the NHL, so you should take tdallashem too with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick- Dallas Stars +105 at at The Greek

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