Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 6, Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 5:05 p.m. EST.
Playing some of their best hockey after the team’s CEO ripped into the marquee players, the Dallas Stars look for their third straight victory Sunday when they face the Winnipeg Jets.
Benn, Seguin spark up after CEO tirade
The Stars (22-16-4) are likely only going to go as far as their big line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov can take them. That is one of the reasons why team CEO Jim Lites’ expletive-filled tirade in which he felt Benn and Seguin — who are making a combined $20 million this season — was so surprising.
To their credit, both players have raised their game since Lites’ outburst as Dallas has gone 3-0-1 since his comments. Benn has goals in his last two games while Seguin has posted a point in all four games and has recorded consecutive multi-goal games in the last two.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 5, 2019
Seguin accounted for Dallas’ offense in its 2-1 overtime win over Washington on Friday night. Radulov set up both goals, including the winner with 1:23 left in the extra period. The Stars are 6-2-1 in their last nine games, but coach Jim Montgomery is prodding his team to want more.
“Our troubles come from when we have success, we get way too comfortable and we have games like we did tonight,” first-year coach Jim Montgomery told the Stars’ official website. “That’s the history of our season, and it’s really the history of last three years.”
After watching Anton Khudobin turn aside 36 shots against the defending Stanley Cup champions, Ben Bishop gets a turn in goal Sunday. He is 4-1-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average in his last six starts, helping the Stars claim at least one point in the last four.
Bishop stifled the Jets in the only meeting between the teams, making 32 saves as Dallas rolled to a 5-1 victory Oct. 6. Seguin and Benn each scored two goals in that game as the Stars went 3 for 5 on the power play.
Winnipeg trying to jolt offense to life
Winnipeg (25-13-2) was atop the Central Division as of the start of NHL play on Saturday but has dropped three of its last five games while scoring one or no goals in four of them.
The Jets were on the wrong end of a 4-0 pasting at Pittsburgh on Friday night. They never recovered from giving up two goals 33 seconds apart in the first period, and the power play was again punchless as it failed to convert its only opportunity.
Winnipeg is 1 for 15 with the man advantage over its last seven games, and with Nikolaj Ehlers expected to miss this game with an upper-body injury suffered in Friday night’s loss, recent call-up Jack Roslovic will step into Ehlers’ spot on the second line with Patrik Laine and Bryan Little to try and jump-start the offense.
🎥 Jack Roslovic on stepping into the top six, playing with Bryan Little, and more after today’s skate. pic.twitter.com/UJQSTkX1oE
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) January 5, 2019
Paul Maurice, who will be coaching the Central Division at the upcoming All-Star Game, is expected to stick with Connor Hellebuyck in net. While he has not allowed more than three goals in any of his last six starts, Winnipeg’s lack of offense has contributed to Hellebuyck going 2-4-0 in that stretch.
The 5-1 loss in October ended a personal six-game winning streak over the Stars for Hellebuyck, who had given up just 10 goals combined in those victories. He is 6-2-1 lifetime versus Dallas.
The Jets are:
- 5-2 in their last seven games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 13-6 in their last 19 games vs. Western Conference opponents.
- 5-0 in their last five home games vs. the Stars.
- The under is 4-1 in their last five games.
- The under is 7-2-1 following a loss by three or more goals.
The Stars are:
- 2-5 in their last seven games vs. Central Division teams.
- 5-13 in their last 18 road games vs. teams with an above-.600 home record.
- 1-8 in their last nine games vs. the Jets.
- The under is 5-0 in their last five games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The under is 8-2-1 in their last 11 games following a win.
- The under is 13-5-3 in their last 21 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This has the feel of a tight, grinding game in which both teams are going to struggle to find offense. Winnipeg gets the nod here because it is the deeper team and can always put out its top checking unit against Benn, Seguin and Radulov as the home team who gets the final change.
Prediction: Pick: Jets -151
Full-Game Total Pick
It was a little surprising to see the line move higher considering both teams’ current lack of explosive offense. Though they find ways to score against each other — the over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings — both teams’ current form offensively lends itself to being a gritty contest with jam goals likely the ones that make the difference. The Stars have been held to two or fewer goals in seven of their last nine games.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 6 goals
Full-Game Prop Bet
This pick is with the expectation of the Jets rolling their four lines throughout the game to wear down the Stars big line while trying to get their offense going.
Prediction: Pick: Jets UNDER 3.5 goals
Half-Time Side Pick
With both teams inconsistent on the offensive end, taking the home team and giving the half-goal is worth a flyer on the return of +150 compared to the straight money line option of -140. Winnipeg not only has scored more first-period goals than Dallas (38-21), it also has a better net margin of plus-2 compared to minus-5 for the Stars.
Prediction: Pick: Jets -0.5 goals +150 (3/5)
Half-Time Total Bet
The Jets have not scored in the first period of their last five games while the Stars have not been that much better in the first period in their last five on the road, lighting the lamp just once in that span.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 1.5 goals -110