FOR THE GAMBLERS!
The Vancouver Canucks will be happy to get home but have one more road date before they can sleep in their own beds. After going 2-1-1 in the first four games of their current five-game swing, the Canucks head to Dallas, where they have gone 5-0-1 in their last six visits.
Vancouver Canucks (24-12-1-6) at Dallas Stars (21-18-2-1)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 18, 2013
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Broadcast: SNET-P, FS-SW
Canucks vs. Stars Betting Lines from Bodog
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +210 -142 Ov 5½ +129
Dallas Stars +1½ -250 +129 Un 5½ -142
Canucks Wrap Up Road Trip in Dallas Thursday Night
The Stars have a ton to play for – they trail Columbus and Detroit for eighth in the Western Conference while the Canucks stand four points up on Minnesota in the Northwest Division and for the third seed in the West, going into the last 10 days of the Regular Season.
This is the last of three meetings. The visiting side won in each of the previous two by a one-goal margin.
Vancouver played a bruising game in St. Louis on Tuesday night and lost in a shootout. They had won five of six games and are 5-1-1 in their past seven, but just completed three games in four nights so there is some excuse for the minor letdown.
The Canucks have looked good In every aspect of the game the last couple of weeks and have erased all concerns that the team is nowhere near the caliber of team that could contend for a Cup this year.
Vancouver had looked great offensively before scoring just once Tuesday – the team had scored 24 goals in six games. Ryan Kesler has been the catalyst – Vancouver is a totally different team with him in the lineup. Kesler has three goals and three assists over the five games since returning from injury April 8.
The power play has scored in three straight games, the defense is getting involved and the Canucks are looking like a dangerous squad.
The goaltending situation for Thursday’s game is still up in the air. Cory Schneider looked terrific against St. Louis, stopping 35 of 36 shots, but Roberto Luongo has also been good as of late and is 3-0-3 with a 2.09 GAA in his last six starts in Dallas. Schneider is 3-1-1 in his last five games with a 1.38 GAA and .951 save % age while Luongo is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA in his last two starts.
Nobody would have blamed the Stars for mailing it in after the trade deadline – after Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow and Derek Roy were shipped out of town. But the Stars won five straight to climb back into the playoff race before a loss to the Blackhawks last time out.
They have won two straight at home and will need another Thursday before they head out on the road for three games.
The Stars will welcome Kari Lehtonen back to the lineup after he missed three games with a lower body injury. He is just 0-3-0 with a 3.85 goals-against average in his last five home starts. The Stars continue to be in the bottom third of the NHL in goals against – they allow 2.98 goals per game.
The offense has been decent for the Stars, surprisingly. They average 2.76 goals per game this year but the production hasn’t dropped off since they let their top dogs go at the deadline. Ray Whitney has nine points in five games and Alex Golokoski has four points in five games.
However the Stars could be without Alex Chaisson who has six goals the last two weeks and Trevor Daley who has contributed four points in four games – both would be big omissions for a team scrapping to get into the top eight in the West.
Dave’s Won’t Cost You Anything Free Betting Prediction:
A few trends to consider:
• Under is 11-3-2 in VAN last 16 overall.
• Under is 6-2-3 in VAN last 11 Thu. games.
• VAN are 11-4 in their last 15 overall.
• Over is 6-2-1 in DAL last 9 home games.
• DAL are 2-6 in their last 8 Thu. games.
• Over is 13-5-8 in DAL last 26 vs. Northwest.
• VAN are 12-4 in the last 16 meetings.
• Under is 17-6-3 in the last 26 meetings in Dallas.
The Vancouver Canucks looked like a tired bunch on Tuesday night and a tough game against St. Louis will not have done them any favors. But the Canucks have owned the Stars in recent years, especially in Dallas.
I think the Canucks rise to the occasion and drive another nail into the Stars’ playoff chances. Dallas is just one game over .500 at home so far this year – make it at .500 after Thursday night.
Derek Roy makes a triumphant return to Dallas!