Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The American Airlines Center will play host to a Central Division matchup as the Chicago Blackhawks visit Dallas to meet the Stars. The action will get going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21 and it’s being televised live on Fox Sports Southwest.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars Odds

Dallas (-115) is currently the favorite over Chicago (-105) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).

Losing 3.1 units for moneyline bettors, the Stars are 18-17 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That early-season winning percentage is a complete turnaround from what the team managed during last years regular season (34-48). Among its 35 games this season, 19 have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 10-5 SU at home this season.

Dallas has converted on 19.0 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 18th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.

Dallas, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.5 times per game overall this season, 4.2 per game over its past five matchups total, and 4.2 per game over its last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for 10.0 minutes per contest over its last five home games.

Averaging 25.3 saves per game with a .908 save percentage, Ben Bishop (13-13-2) has been the primary option in goal for the Stars this season. If the Stars decide to give him the night off, however, the team could turn to Kari Lehtonen (6-7-7 record, .907 save percentage, 2.59 goals against average).

The Stars will continue seeking leadership from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Benn (30 points) has tallied 14 goals and 16 assists and has recorded two or more points in seven different games this year. Seguin has 14 goals and 15 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 21 contests.

On the other side of the rink, Chicago is 17-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 33 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just two have pushed. As a road team, Chicago is 7-9 SU so far.

Chicago has converted on just 14.3 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 29th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked ninth overall and it’s successfully defended 82.7 percent of all penalties.

Chicago’s players have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five match ups. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford (.935 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Chicago. Crawford is averaging 29.2 saves per game and owns a 16-10-2 record.

Patrick Kane (14 goals, 20 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the visiting Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars Betting Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Stars, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The over has hit in three of Dallas last five outings.
  • Penalties and power plays could be extremely important in this one. The Blackhawks are 13-8 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-8 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Stars are 9-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 12-6 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Dallas skaters have averaged 7.0 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 6.6 takeaways per game (ranked 21st in the NHL).
  • Chicago has allowed 2.6 goals per game overall this year, but has brought that figure down to 1.4 per contest over their five-game winning streak.
  • Chicago skaters have created 6.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 14th in the NHL).
  • Dallas might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 7-5 in games decided by one goal, while Chicago is 5-7 in such games.