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Lightning, Stars Could be Headed for a Slog

Alexander Radulov Victor Hedman NHL Hockey Betting Preview Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars

The Tampa Bay Lightning kick off their post-all-star break schedule in much better shape than they were a month earlier. The Lightning enter Monday’s encounter with the host Dallas Stars having won 12 of their past 14 games to move to within striking distance of the Boston Bruins atop the Atlantic Division standings.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lightning opened as -140 favorites for Monday’s return to regular-season action, but can be found as low as -125 at select sportsbooks. The total has held steady at 6.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

The Lightning are in the middle of one of their toughest stretches of the season, with eight road games in a nine-game span. But with 10 days off between Monday’s tilt in Dallas and a 7-1 trouncing of the Winnipeg Jets in their last outing before the break, Tampa Bay caught a bit of a break in that regard; the Lightning are 14-8-2 on the road this season.

Goal scoring continues to be a major reason for Tampa’s success; the club enters the second half ranked third in the NHL in scoring (3.60 goals per game). But unlike years past, the offense is much more spread out, with five players – Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn – having registered at least 39 points so far.

Dallas News & Notes

The Stars only wish they could boast the kind of scoring punch the Lightning will bring to town. Dallas comes into this one averaging 2.56 goals per game; the four teams below them on the list all rank among the bottom six teams in the overall standings. Roope Hintz leads the team with a paltry 15 goals, while Tyler Seguin (36) is the only player with more than 28 points.

Fortunately for the Stars, the goaltending tandem of Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin has made life difficult for opposing scorers. Both have a goals-against average of 2.30 or lower while boasting identical .927 save percentages. Dallas also has one of the top penalty-killing units at home, ranking ninth in the league at 84.3 percent.

Betting Pick: UNDER

Look for both sides to be rusty on offense while maintaining their usual defensive dominance in what should be a tightly contested affair in Big D.

Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games.
  • Dallas is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games.
  • The OVER is 11-2 in Dallas’ last 13 games vs Tampa Bay.