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Stars Look to Even Series vs Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars Game 4 Preview

Through three games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, there has not been a heavy advantage one way or the other, outside perhaps goaltending. And as the series enters a back-to-back situation, bettors will need to watch the Dallas goalie situation closely as the Stars try to stay in the series.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars
  • Date/Time: September 25, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Rogers Place
  • TV Coverage: HNIC, SNET, NBCSN
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -182 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Lightning vs Stars Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

This game opened with the Lightning as heavy favorites at -182 but that number has dropped to a variety of different lines in the -148 to -160 range depending on the book. The total opened at 5.5 and has settled at 5 across the board.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Although the Tampa Bay Lightning had a heavy advantage on the scoreboard in Game 3, the underlying numbers show a third consecutive close game that could have gone either way. The high-danger scoring chances at even strength favor the Lightning slightly in the series, 24-22, while the overall scoring chances stand at 57-52, also favoring Tampa.

There is no doubt the return of captain Steven Stamkos provided a boost to the team as he scored in his first game action since February. Stamkos left the ice soon after his goal and did not return and his status should be considered doubtful for the rest of the series.

Tampa’s biggest edge may be in net as Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a steady presence, having played every game of the playoffs and posting the best save percentage (.928) of any goalie to play more than 10 games.

Dallas News & Notes

Despite their precarious position in the series, the Dallas Stars have fared well through three games and kept shots and chances close at even strength. But special teams has been a weak point for the Stars as they have scored just one goal on 11 power-play opportunities. The Stars will likely need those numbers to improve if they want to keep up with the Lightning attack.

In net, we may finally be seeing the luster wear off Anton Khudobin’s armor. Khudobin has performed admirably throughout the playoffs but did not make the key, game-preserving saves in Games 2 or 3 that the team had become accustomed to.

Khudobin’s mettle will be put to the test in Games 4 and 5 as the teams play a rare Cup final back-to-back. There are questions about whether Dallas would turn to regular-season starter Ben Bishop or third-stringer Jake Oettinger in Saturday’s game.

Betting Pick: Dallas +135

The value is too great here not to take the Stars in a series that has been close in all three games. Bettors won’t find much value in betting on Tampa Bay. The OVER is also an intriguing bet as all three games have had five or more goals.

Shark Bites
  • Steven Stamkos had not scored a goal since Feb. 20, a span of 215 days.
  • The OVER is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings between these teams.
  • Dallas is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games against Tampa Bay.