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Stars Eye Series Lead on Home Ice vs Predators

After two tightly contested games at Bridgestone Arena, the opening-round matchup between the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars heads to American Airlines Center for Game 3. Dallas drew first blood in the series with a 3-2 win, but Nashville countered with a 2-1 triumph in Game 2. The Stars are now favored to secure the series lead as a -120 favorite with the Predators coming back at +100 and the total opening at 5 goals.

Predators vs Stars Game Center

Standout Stats

  • Dallas proved that it is not to be overlooked by second-seeded Nashville when it earned a 3-2 win to open this series. The Predators were clearly the more dominant team in the second game, outshooting the Stars 42-23, but still needed overtime to put Dallas away.
  • Nashville has been controlling the play by winning faceoffs and leading in the physical play. The Preds won 62 percent of the faceoffs in the first game and 59 percent in Game 2, while also out-hitting the Stars 47-31 overall heading into the third game.
  • The Stars have done a good job limiting mistakes and trying to hound the Predators’ puckhandlers to create extra offensive opportunities. Dallas had 20 giveaways in the two contests at Bridgestone Arena and created 29 takeaways from Nashville.
  • The two squads are putting forth true team efforts as only four players have picked up multiple points thus far. Mattias Ekholm and Calle Jarnkrok lead the Preds with two points each, while Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen also each have two points to lead Dallas.
  • This series has been dominated by the strong netminders, most notably Ben Bishop carrying his fantastic second-half stats right into the beginning of the playoffs. After two games, Bishop is sporting a .946 save percentage and a stingy 1.91 goals-against average. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne hasn’t been too shabby either, with a .923 save percentage and 1.91 GAA. One big factor helping the goalies out has been blocked shots as the Stars have stopped 40 shots from getting to Bishop, while the Preds have deflected 31 shots.
  • A big issue for both squads has been their power plays, which should come as no surprise with Nashville, as it ranked dead last in the league with a 12.9 power-play percentage in the regular season and is now 0-for-7 in the early going of this series. Dallas did break through in Game 1 but is just 1-for-9 heading into Game 3.
  • With the series making a venue change, the momentum may swing more in Dallas’ favor as it sported a record of 24-14-3 at home this season, but Nashville was also strong on the road, going 22-15-4.

My Best Bet for Nashville vs Dallas Game 3

UNDER 5

I think the goalies are stealing the show through the first two games and that is going to continue in tonight’s game.

I think Dallas will get a boost from the home crowd and I expect it to be buzzing around the Nashville net a lot more than in Game 2, but Rinne will stand tall. The offense and power plays will have to wake up at some point in this series, we would think, but at this point it’s all about the defense and goalies and the UNDER will come through again.

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