Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars Game Preview

A couple of teams that’ve positioned themselves firmly in the playoff hunt, the Washington Capitals and the Dallas Stars meet at the American Airlines Center for an East-West tilt. The action gets going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 19, and you are able to watch the game live on Fox Sports Southwest.

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars Odds

Washington (+100) is currently the underdog to Dallas (-120), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 for the over, +100 for the under).

Washington is 21-13 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 6.0 units this season. Through 34 regular season contests, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Capitals team is 7-8 SU on the road.

Washington has converted on 20.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for seventh-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th out of 31 teams, and it’s successfully killed off only 79.2 percent of its penalties.

The Caps, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.4 times per game overall this season, and 5.2 per game over its last five on the road. The teams been forced to stave off opponent power plays 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Boasting a .919 save percentage and 28.2 saves per game, Braden Holtby (19-7) has been the best option in goal for Washington this season. If it decides to rest him, however, the team could go with Philipp Grubauer (2-9-1 record, .899 save percentage, 3.01 goals against average).

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will both lead the way for the visiting Capitals. Ovechkin (37 points) has tallied 23 goals and 14 assists, and has recorded multiple points in eight different games. Kuznetsov has 11 goals and 25 assists to his credit (and has registered a point in 21 games).

Dallas is 18-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 34 regular season contests, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 10-4 SU at home this year.

The Stars have converted on just 18.8 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.5 percent of all penalties.

Stars players have been called for penalties 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 3.6 per game over their last five outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 10.0 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Ben Bishop (25.4 saves per game) has been the primary netminder in goal for the Stars. Bishop has 13 wins, 12 losses, and one OT loss to his credit and has recorded a mediocre 2.71 goals against average and a fairly-weak .910 save percentage this season.

Tyler Seguin (14 goals, 15 assists) and Jamie Benn (13 goals, 16 assists) will lead the attack for the home team.

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars Free Picks

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

Betting Notes

  • Six of Dallas last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 2-4 overall in those games.
  • Washington has scored 3.2 goals per game overall this year, but has upped that figure to 4.3 per contest in their last three games (the teams a perfect 3-0 SU over that span),
  • Power plays and penalty kills may be even more critical than usual tonight. The Capitals are 8-1 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-4 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Stars are 9-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 12-6 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Dallas is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 2-0 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in three of Dallas last five games.
  • Dallas has averaged 11.0 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 7.6 giveaways per game (the 6th-fewest in the NHL).
  • Washington is ranked 26th this season with 12.0 giveaways per game. That figure has trended upward, as the teams averaged 15.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 12.8 giveaways over its last five.