Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars Odds - Free Pick 12/19/2015
In a battle between two first place teams in their division, the Montreal Canadiens invade the American Airlines Center this Saturday night to square-off against the Dallas Stars. Game time for this inter-conference clash is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.
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Montreal is still holding down the lead in the Atlantic Division with 43 points from an overall record of 20-10-3, but it has been struggling as of late with a 3-6-1 mark over its last 10 games. This includes back-to-back losses to San Jose and Los Angeles as a home favorite by a combined score of 6-1 in its last two outings. The total has now stayed UNDER in the last five games.
,p>Not only are the Canadiens struggling on defense with goalie Carey Price on the shelf with a lower body injury, their offense has been almost non-existent during this current slide. Going back to a 3-2 loss to Washington on Dec. 3, they have allowed three goals in six of their last seven games while tallying a total of just 11 goals during the same stretch. Both Dustin Tokarski and Mike Condon have spent time in goal with Price out of the lineup. Condon has the better stats with a goals-against average of 2.21 in 20 games played.
The Stars have been able to widen their lead in the Central Division with a 6-2-2 record in their last 10 games and they now have the most points in the NHL at 48. Despite this past Thursday's 3-1 loss to Calgary as a heavy -194 home favorite, Dallas is still a solid 12-4 record at home this season. The total stayed UNDER the 5.5-goal total line in Thursday's loss and it has stayed UNDER in four of its last six games.
Dallas has clearly been the most consistent team in the NHL this season with an overall record of 23-7-2, but that has not been the case in its last few games. Going back over the Stars last six outings, they have scored a total of 14 goals in three wins and just two goals in three losses making it tough to know what to expect from this team come Saturday. The one thing in the Stars' favor is a relatively healthy lineup led by Tyler Seguin as the top point scorer (42) and Antti Niemi as the top goaltender (2.50 GAA).
The Canadiens are 1-4 in their last five games against the Western Conference and they are 0-4 in their last four games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last 11 road games.
The Stars are 4-1 in their last five home games and they have gone 4-1 in their last five games played on Saturday. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games against a team from the Atlantic Division.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 8-3-1 in the last 11 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the last five games.
Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars Prediction
Both teams have had their issues lately, but heavily favored Dallas still has the overall edge as the better team right now. Throw in the fact that the Stars will play this showdown on their own ice and it only adds value to their more favorable odds on the puck line to cover the -1.5 goal spread.