Two in-form teams will face off against each other in the Miami metropolitan area, as the local Florida Panthers (1st in Atlantic Division) will try to notch their 20th domestic victory of the season while playing host to the Dallas Stars (5th in Central).
Stars Shine Versus SeattleThe Dallas Stars (18-13-2) recorded their fifth triumph in the past six outings (5-1-0) after recovering from Sunday’s 2-1 road defeat to the St. Louis Blues with a 5-2 win against the Seattle Kraken at American Airlines Center on Wednesday. Joe Pavelski (15 goals, 35 points this year) bagged two snipes and three assists, as the boys from Texas buried three goals in the opening frame to take a 3-1 lead before adding a marker in each of the following two periods after the Kraken made it a one-goal game at the start of the middle frame. Roope Hintz (14 goals, 26 points), Jason Robertson (13 goals, 32 points) and Jani Hakanpaa (1 goal, 6 points) also tallied for Dallas.
Goalie Jake Oettinger stopped 23 shots on Wednesday to take his current performance status to 9-2-0 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.20 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He has registered a 0-2-1 past total versus Florida with a 2.64 GAA and a .918 save percentage, while Anton Khudobin (3-3-1 on the year with a 3.73 GAA and a .873 save percentage) is 6-3-2 against the Panthers historically with a 2.27 GAA and a .933 save percentage. The Stars, meanwhile, are 14th in least goals netted per game this season (2.88), 15th in least goals allowed on average (2.88), 6th in power play (26.3%) and 20th in penalty kill (78.4%).
Cats Win Another Home GameThe current point streak of the Florida Panthers (24-7-5) expanded to seven outings (6-0-1), as the team triumphed for the second straight time after snatching a 5-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at FLA Live Arena on Tuesday. Sam Reinhart (11 goals, 29 points this year) scored twice on his return from COVID-19 protocol list, as the Cats buried two strikes in the opening frame before the ‘Nucks cut their initial 2-0 lead in half midway through the first period, only for Florida to add three more markers, including a power-play goal and a shorty, in the middle session. The Panthers are 19-3-0 in their home games this season, having netted at least five strikes in 13 of them.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 42 saves on Tuesday and has now gone 17-3-3 for the rolling year with a 2.55 GAA and a .919 save percentage. He has registered a 15-2-2 career total versus Dallas with a 2.13 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The Panthers, meanwhile, are netting the 2nd highest amount of goals per game in 2021-22 (3.92), while giving up the 16th highest quantity on the defensive end (2.92). The team is 19th in power play with a 19.0% conversion rate and 14th in penalty kill with 81.1% efficiency.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Florida is the best home team so far in the NHL this season, having posted a 19-3-0 record, notching five domestic triumphs more than its closest followers (four teams, including Dallas). So, backing a win for the visitors here seems reckless. Especially with the Stars having managed to register just eight triumphs on their past 28 trips. Still, backing the boys from Texas on the puck line is definitely a pretty decent option. They haven’t lost by a margin of at least two snipes in their very last six outings overall, with their most recent three travels to Florida all cashing in on a goal-advantage of +1.5. In fact, only one of Stars’ eight past encounters against the Panthers has delivered a win for the Cats by a margin of at least two markers, with six of the previous 10 overall outings of Florida all favoring their opponents on the puck line.
Full-Game Total Pick
Since returning from their Christmas break, the Panthers have only been involved in games that have seen no less than seven snipes on the scoreboard, with their most recent seven outings all averaging 8.29 markers per encounter. Still, with Dallas paying a visit to FLA Live Arena, do expect to witness no more than six goals scored on Friday! The Stars have already cruised below the set goal-mark in four straight road outings, with eight of their previous 11 matchups following a victory all also turning into low-scoring bouts. Most importantly, a whopping 13 of Dallas’ last 19 trips to Florida have all produced just a minimal quantity of goals.